"Tijuana has more to do with science fiction novels than history books about Mexico." - Raul Cárdenas Osuna, Torolab
If necessity is the mother of invention, then Tijuana is where she gave birth and raised her kid. A city that rejects entropy, Tijuana constructs its own rules. Its denizens negotiate the chaos with fierce independence, ingenuity and a gift for improvisation.
Frontier Life is a feature-length documentary that explores beyond Tijuana's Sin City heritage, beyond the aura of menace cultivated by the mainstream media, and searches for the heart and identity of a city that is much more than a cantina-strewn throwback to the Old West. This film does not set out to valorize or condemn what it finds. It approaches Tijuana on its own terms, looking at the city not so much in relationship to the U.S., the border, or even other regions in Mexico, but rather from the inside, within its own context.
Frontier Life interweaves stories of car worship, drag racing, wastewater treatment and a new musical hybrid that announces the shape of things to come -- finding combinations and contradictions that define the city. Isolated from the South, alienated from the North, Tijuana is a strange "island" with a culture all its own, and this documentary discovers faces of this complex city rarely seen from the outside.
[FRONTIER LIFE Screenings History]
Read the archived reports from the Fall 2002 theatrical tour.
Read Frontier Life features in Filmmaker Magazine, Resonance, Tokion, Nylon, Time Out New York and San Diego Union-Tribune