Parents' Guide to

Los Tigres del Norte at Folsom Prison

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Excellent docu featuring musicians performing for inmates.

Movie NR 2019 64 minutes
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While the performance would be enough for fans of their music, this documentary goes the extra mile by focusing on the Folsom Prison inmates. Los Tigres del Norte at Folsom Prison shows the popular "norteño" band following in Johnny Cash's footsteps and performing for inmates. It also shows members of the band meeting with some of the inmates and learning their stories, including interviews discussing the circumstances and life choices that led to their incarceration. The song lyrics, stories of the struggles of immigrating to the United States to find a better life while facing numerous challenges and obstacles, serve to amplify these stories, while also showing a direct lineage to the songs Johnny Cash had sung in Folsom 50 years prior.

The documentary doesn't sugarcoat, romanticize, or gloss over the inmates' stories. Instead, it gives the inmates a voice to tell of their lives and backgrounds, and the circumstances that led to their imprisonment. The band shows a tremendous amount of empathy throughout the documentary, especially when meeting face-to-face with some of the inmates. Because of this, this documentary can be viewed and enjoyed by more than simply those who are fans of Los Tigres del Norte. Through the lyrics and the interviews, Los Tigres del Norte also addresses topics at the forefront of the national conversation, especially immigration.

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