by David Mendez
"Lucha Libre is the cheapest form of therapy there is," according to luchadore Blue Demon Jr. in "Border Patrol Body Slam," one of the latest releases in the ongoing New York Times Op-Doc series. From the Times:
(Wrestling promoter) Gabriel Ramirez wanted to bring lucha libre, traditional Mexican-style professional wrestling, to the United States. When he dressed American professional wrestlers as Border Patrol agents to play the main villains, he knew he had a lucrative idea that would appeal to Latino audiences. More than entertainment, however, what he built is a type of Theater of the Oppressed, where social hierarchies are turned upside down and where, unlike in some media coverage, the Mexicans are the heroes.
The mini-documentary, a companion piece to a full-length project in the works, can be seen at NYTimes.com.