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Las Tesoros de San Antonio

An obvious labor of love by director Jorge Sandoval, this homegown documentary celebrates the story and ranchera-fueled music of Las Tesoros de San Antonio, a local supergroup organized by the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center. The lives of Rita Vidaurri (“La Calandria”), Beatriz Llamas (“La Paloma del Norte”), Blanca Rosa, and Janet Cortez (“Perla Tapatía,” who passed away in 2014 at age 83) are united by a music career cut short under different circumstances — Vidaurri lost her three sons to illness and the war; Llamas lost her husband/manager at the height of her career, Blanca Rosa left music to pursue nursing, and Perla Tapatía was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1973 at age 41 and told she’d never sing again (she did, and her first performance was singing “Happy Birthday” to her doctor). The movie has each tesoro (treasure) telling their story, and the big climax comes with amazing footage of their historic show at the Guadalupe in 2011, superbly accompanied by local all-female Mariachi Mujer Internacional.

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