The New Tijuana


Profile of Tijuana, Mexico, now the West Coast’s second largest city after Los Angeles. As this booming border town struggles between its heritage as a Third World city with a sordid past, and its promise as a modern center for international finance and high technology, it is rapidly emerging as the political, economic, and social leader for the rest of Mexico to follow. Divided into four segments, the documentary opens with “The Legacy of the Past,” tracing Tijuana’s history with photographs and fascinating archival footage of Hollywood stars like Rita Hayworth and William Powell. “The Promise of the Future” examines the phenomenon of maquiladoras, or assembly plants, which are transforming Tijuana into the new Hong Kong, as part of Mexico’s drive to attract foreign investment. “The Price of Independence” focuses on the emergence of a fiercely independent weekly newspaper which has taken serious risks in publicly criticizing the power structure. “The Challenge of a Generation” chronicles the extraordinary state elections that produced the first opposition victory in the history of Mexico. In 1989, National Action Party candidate Ernesto Ruffo won the governorship of Baja California in a victory reflecting Tijuana’s participation in the dramatic struggle for democracy that is sweeping the globe.


National PBS broadcast, Best Television Documentary, National Conference of Christians and Jews, San Diego Chapter Honorable Mention, American Film and Video Festival Honorable Mention, Documentary for Television, San Antonio CineFestival, Featured at Fifth Informe de Gobierno de Baja California, Mexicali, Mexico, Investigative/Enterprise Reporting, Second Place, San Diego County Press Award, Society of Professional Journalists, Chicago Latino Film Festival, Latin American Studies Association Award of Merit, Nominee, three Emmys, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, San Diego Chapter, for Best Documentary, Best Director and Best Photography

Producer – Paul Espinosa
Director – Frank Christopher
Writers – Paul Espinosa, Frank Christopher
Narrator – Luis Valdez
A Production of KPBS-TV