Tales of Masked Men

Tales of Masked Men is a documentary about the colorful, fascinating and mysterious world of lucha libre — Mexican wrestling — and was an official selection of over 20 film festivals. Shot in Mexico and the United States and filled with the passion and excitement that defines its subject, the film explores the history of lucha libre and what has made this eighty-year-old phenomenon endure.

Described by cultural anthropologist Heather Levi as “a sport in the key of melodrama,” lucha libre springs from the same root as American professional wrestling (i.e. Olympic and Greco-Roman style competitive wrestling), but has taken on the unique characteristics of Mexico and the country’s long-standing fascination with masks. Masks conceal faces but not feelings, allowing luchadors to transform themselves into either the character of a rudo, the rule-breaking villain, or a técnico, the fair and square, technically proficient hero. Practiced in large and small arenas throughout Mexico and the U.S. as well as other countries, this “working class” sport is truly interactive, with multigenerational fans passionately involved in the high drama of the ring.

Featuring interviews with cultural commentators, wrestlers, and observers of the sport as well as archival footage and clips from the “masked wrestler” adventure films, Tales of Masked Men is the vibrant story of how lucha libre has taken root in Mexican and Latino culture and become an integral part of its very identify.

Runtime: 55 min. Watch trailer here. In Spanish and English with English subtitles.

Tales of Masked Men is being shown as a part of Cine Latino, Phoenix Art Museum’s annual celebration of Hispanic culture through film. Cine Latino is made possible through the generous support of The Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation, CALA Alliance and Latin American Art Alliance.

Cost: FREE for all guests.

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