Las Tesoros de San Antonio/A Westside Story screening scheduled March 28 as part of Women’s History Month
Article by Rosa Linda Reynoso
Raised in San Antonio’s Westside neighborhood, Rita “La Calandria” Vidaurri, Blanquita “Blanca Rosa” Rodríguez, Beatriz “La Paloma del Norte” Llamas and Janet “La Perla Tapatia” Cortez had careers as singers that soared in the 1940s and continued through the 1970s. Time had almost forgotten them.
Newly rediscovered, these four women tell their amazing stories of personal tragedy leading to retirement and then to their present-day musical resurgence in director-producer Jorge Sandoval’s documentary, Las Tesoros de San Antonio/A Westside Story. As part of Women’s History Month, Del Mar College and the Mexican-American Studies program will host a FREE screening of this award-winning documentary on Wednesday, March 28.
The screening begins at 1 p.m. in Room 514 in White Library on the East Campus at Naples off Kosar at Staples. For more information, contact Political Science professor Elizabeth N. Flores at 361-698-1218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Las Tesoros de San Antonio/A Westside Story examines the personal toll and legacy of the four “tesoros,” or treasures of yesteryear, featured in the 85-minute film. Sandoval also will attend the screening and provide a question-and-answer session.
Through their stories and music, viewers learn how Vidaurri, Llamas, Rodríguez and Cortez began their careers in a male-dominated industry to become successful singers and performers on the national and international stage. Their music careers were cut short, however, under different circumstances.
Vidaurri lost her three sons to illness and the war while Llamas lost her husband and manager at the height of her career. Rodríguez left music to pursue nursing; and Cortez, who died in 2014 at age 83, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1973 at age 41 and told she’d never sing again. However, Cortez did regain her voice, and her first performance was singing “Happy Birthday” to her doctor.
Currently, Vidaurri, Llamas and Rodríguez continue to perform.
In 2016, Las Tesoros de San Antonio/A Westside Story was an Official Selection of the San Antonio CineFestival, Best Documentary at the Festival Internacional de Cine de Michoacan in Mexico and the Official Selection of the OC Film Fiesta in Santa Ana, Ca. In 2017, the firm earned the Premio Herencia at the Xicanindie Film Festival in Denver, Co., the Official Selection of the Arizona International Film Festival in Tucson, Az., and the Official Selection of the San Antonio Film Festival.
For more information about the documentary, visit www.lastesorosfilm.com.
Watch the trailer for Las Tesoros de San Antonio/A Westside Story. (Cloased Captining not available from this second-party source.)
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