Thursday, January 28, 2010

La Lucha Continua: Mexican Wrestling in the Mission

Aired on KALW's Crosscurrents on Thursday, January 28, 2010.

About twice a year, a high school gym in San Francisco’s Mission District fills with hundreds of Latino families for an unusual fundraiser. Kids wear facemasks, grandmas yell, dads blow plastic horns for Lucha Libre. It’s a form of Mexican wrestling, a hybrid of sport and spectacle that pits good guys against bad. The idea first hit the U.S. mainstream with the film Nacho Libre and now there are lucha-themed restaurants and even lucha-dance clubs. But it’s not just a form of entertainment: it’s also a theater for social commentary. I go ringside.