Los Tigres del Norte make history again as they became the first Mexican music group to set foot in the iconic Folsom State Prison in California to sing to inmates, many of whom will never make it out of that maximum security compound alive.
After processing permits and running countless errands for more than a year, the legendary northern group was able to set foot in the prison where singer Johnny Cash recorded an album that revived his musical career more than 50 years ago.
As a tribute to his colleague - and in an attempt to highlight the stories of his compatriots and other imprisoned Latinos - the quintet met with the inmates in an intimate and emotional meeting that was recorded in the documentary Los Tigres del Norte At Folsom Prison that was will premiere on September 15 on Netflix.
"We have to give light to the people [who live in] the darkness of this place," said the group's leader, Jorge Hernández, during the presentation of the project. “It is an obligation since we first came to the United States when we were little and that we played at Soledad Prison in Northern California. It is very important to us and it has stayed in my mind all my life. That's what has led me to do something different every day and try to make a difference in other people's lives."
For an hour, the inmates were able to enjoy the concert of the Tigers, a group that has performed around the world. They even danced to the music of the group without restrictions - and some chanted the iconic themes of their idols.
"When you look at the faces of the prisoners, you fall, it depresses you to see their sad faces, their faces that reflect something very different to what you experience outside on the street," said Eduardo Hernández, saxophonist of the group. “It feels like they want to hug you, but due to security measures they don't let them. Their looks [reflected] thank you; They did not say it in words, but [in] their eyes it felt that they thanked you for being there."
The documentary features the stories of several inmates, both male and female, and how making a bad decision sentenced them to being locked up, some even serving life terms. They all expressed a common wish: to hug their relatives again.
The purpose of this project, according to Jorge, is to raise awareness about the importance of keeping the family together as the basis of society and giving these prisoners a voice so that they do not feel forgotten.
"Anything small we can do to make someone happy, we are going to do it," concluded the member of the group, who will also release on Friday, September 13, a record of the concert recorded inside the prison.