From the U.S.-Mexico border wall to the world, the heartfelt music documentary Fandango at the Wall will premiere on HBO at the end of the month.
Directed by Varda Bar-Kar and executive produced by Quincy Jones, Andrew Young, Carlos Santana, and Kabir Sehgal, Fandango at the Wall follows the journey of Grammy-winning musician Arturo O’Farrill and Grammy-winning producer Sehgal in Veracruz, Mexico, where they recruit musicians for a live album recording at the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
The project, which also includes a live album and a book, was inspired by the annual Fandango Fronterizo Festival, founded by Jorge Francisco Castillo and held at the Tijuana-San Diego border featuring the 300-year-old folk music tradition, son jarocho that fuses indigenous, Spanish and African traditions.
For Leslie Cohen, Senior Vice President, Content Acquisitions at HBO and HBO Max, “the film’s meaningful story and magical music will resonate deeply with our audience.” Producer Doug Davis said in an official statement, “HBO has long demonstrated a commitment to documentarians like us who make socially-conscious films that explore important issues like immigration and identity.”
Celebrating friendship and unity, the film introduces the region’s son jarocho music, blended with big band arrangements, through interviews and concert footage including son jarocho artists Andrés Vega, Martha Vega, Ramón Gutiérrez, Wendy Cao Romero, Tacho Utrera, Fernando Guadarrama and Patricio Hidalgo.
Sehgal elaborated: “Paradoxically, our film shows how the border can become a place of friendship and amity by harnessing the power of Afro-Mexican music known as son jarocho. I’ve been making music for decades, and I’ve never experienced a more enveloping and transformative art form.”
Director Varda Bar-Kar also expressed appreciation for HBO’s commitment to “provide a platform for diverse filmmakers who tell compelling stories with authenticity, artistry, and layered meaning.”
Produced between Tiger Turn Productions and Sony Music Latin, in partnership with the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, Fandango at the Wall premieres at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, September 25 on HBO Latino with five additional HBO broadcasts scheduled in the subsequent days. HBO Max will stream in the U.S.
Watch the trailer below: