First preview of Antes como Antes, Ahora como Ahora: Encuentros del Son Jarocho (Before like Before, Today like Today: Encounters in Son Jarocho). A film by Blake and Tristan Copland.
SPECIAL THANKS: Rafael Figueroa Hernandez, Francisco Gonzalez, Ricardo Perry, Alejandrino Hernandez Reyes, Cardenalcito Hernandez, Andres Bernardo Moreno Najera, Alec Dempster, Cesar Castro, Rosario Cornejo Enrique Fabela, Diana Martínez Ramírez.
Son Jarocho is a unique hybrid genre of song and dance which emerged out the cultural melting-pot of the Spanish colony in Veracruz, Mexico over three hundred years ago. A musical culture with strong African roots, it also retains Spanish and Indigenous elements, and is both steeped in a proud purist tradition but also evolving through some of its hallmark features of improvisation, appropriation and fusion. And yet, the vast, multifaceted realm of globalization is a whole new matter. Son Jarocho is experiencing a period of growth like never before, creating a tension between the ways of the old and the ways of the new. Antes como Antes, Ahora como Ahora (Before like Before, Today like Today), an independent feature-length documentary film by Australian filmmakers Blake and Tristan Copland, sets out on a journey of encounters across the broad Son Jarocho community, from the hot coastal plains of Southern Veracruz to the hustling urban realms of Los Angeles. At a time when Son Jarocho is redefining itself at the crossroads of globalization, the film is simultaneously a celebration of the genre’s diversity while also affirming the close ties that exist between the ranches, villages, cities and nations: an unbridled passion for life and creativity, family, political struggle, and most importantly of all, the fandango.
We have been considering the ways in which our own journey over the last three years has come to shape the actual story itself. During the project, we have steered clear of any those rigid or exacting guidelines often overemphasized in filmmaking – let alone, life itself - preferring to let the journey be guided by a river-like flow of encounters: one aspect of the culture revealing another, each element augmenting the other like a vast expanse of fabric which tightens intricately over Veracruz, so that our understanding and appreciation of it was continually developing. We also suspect that, such is the unique, evolving complexity of Son Jarocho, such a process could indeed go on forever.
Our preference for this way of doing things has been not only based upon our aims as filmmakers; it also reflects our passion for music and creative cultures. That is to say, this process of film-making for us has been a lived-process. Initially, we were drawn to this musical culture not as a filmmakers but people who see music as the language of the universe. Indeed, this still is the case. Son Jarocho only reminds us so.
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