Today’s DVD suggestion breaks away from the WWE library and looks a documentary produced for PBS. The film “Tales of Masked Men: A Journey Through Lucha Libre” takes us on a journey through the culture of wrestling in Mexico. The influence of Lucha Libre has always had a strong presence in wrestling in the United States. Stars like Juventud Guerrera, Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio all have roots in the style and started in Mexico. This brand of wrestling not only has had an influence on Mexican stars but you can see the style come out in wrestlers like Chris Jericho and X-Pac. This 56 minute piece maybe the best peek at the long standing culture and where it began.
The film goes back and forth between English and Spanish commentary but don’t fret because the Spanish is sub titled. We get introduced to iconic figures in the culture that influenced many of the stars that have imported the style to the United States. If you ever wondered the significance of the mask and this is a film for you. Here you get introduced to El Santo who is considered to be the greatest star of all time and transcended the ring and appeared in films as a hero.
What I got from the film that Lucha Libre is a much like wrestling here in the states in the sense they are trying to tell stories. In Mexico there is a lot of drama and pageantry. The Lucha culture is big on heroes and villains and pulls a lot from North American comic book culture. A good example of this can be seen today in the Chikara Pro here in America. Also here in America we have 2nd generation wrestlers who continue on the in ring tradition of their fathers. In Mexico it’s a lot deeper than that there is a lot more that comes along with following in a parent’s footsteps. To follow in the footsteps is an honor that is earned.
This is a must watch for any wrestling fan who is interested the sport on an international level. If you have Amazon Prime you can stream this for free via the Amazon Instant Video app. It is also available for rent for 1.99 in the Google store to stream. Either way it’s a good watch.
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr