Donnie Meals new documentary film "EL CORRIDO, THE TWO SIDES OF THE SONG" is simply outstanding and a definite must see for anyone interested in Mexican history or Mexico today. I have long been fascinated with corridos, those powerful Mexican ballads that so simply but effectively communicate the stories of Mexico's rural downtrodden and their iconic heros. Corridos originated with the Mexican War of Independence as romantic ballads but flourished during the Mexican Revolution of 1910 as a means of communicating news of events and people in rural Mexico before the arrival of 20th century mass media. Perhaps the best-known corrido is La cucaracha, the Mexican equivalent of Yankee Doodle. One version pokes fun at President Victoriano Huerta, the cockroach who can't function because he has no marijuana to smoke.

The film covers a lot of ground beginning with a fine look at Mexican history and culture. Meals then moves on into the Pancho Villa Corridos before focusing on today's narco corridos leaving his audience with a much greater understanding of Mexico. Parts of the film were made in Ojinaga and Candelaria and Meals cinematography is superb.

El Corrido premiers in San Antonio, Texas at San Antonio College at 2 p.m. on Friday, November 14th. Below is a schedule of upcoming showings at film festivals. A DVD version is to be released soon.


Tuscon (October 17 2008 to October 19 2008)
New York (October 31 2008 to November 01 2008)
La Joya (December 19 2008 )
San Francisco (February 05 2009 to February 17 2009)
Ann Arbor (March 24 2009 to March 29 2009)
Nashville (April 16 2009 to April 23 2009)
Mexico City (April 18 2009 to April 19 2009)


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