This 55-minute documentary is being first shown on broadcast TV on PBS as part of their Arts Summer Festival. It follows the high school mariachi band at Zapata High School as it enters two major competitions in Texas in 2010. Their leader - a music teacher - has led this school through many championship wins and tries to do it again. (To give you the answer, would spoil the fun.). We get to meet selected students in this low economic community and hear their plans and aspirations. And we get to hear some great music - though only one number is presented complete.
With under an hour - as compared to the longer time length of similar "teacher trains the students in a school to both win a competition and mature" documentaries - there is not a lot of time for both the story and music.
I really enjoyed getting to know the students, though there is never a point where you feel these kids are in danger. (The only parent you meet is one who owns a horse farm.)
The other thing that is missing is an "epilogue". Most of those students followed were seniors. We hear that most went on to higher learning. But we want to know more. One talented young girl wanted to go to Harvard. (So, where did she go after graduation.)
The DVD won't be released until September 11th. I hope that are some bonus features included filling us in on the kids. Meanwhile, it's worth catching on your local PBS station.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.