The international media paints a dark picture of Tijuana, Mexico  — full of drug cartel violence, third world poverty, corrupt politicians and police, clubs where American teenagers can party, and one of the most notorious red light districts in the world: known as Zona Norte or Zona Roja.

With a global reputation  similar to Bangkok or Hamburg, Tijuana’s three-block radius Zona Norte is crammed with streetwalkers, brothels, stripper clubs, and massage parlors, along with crime and constant patrols of police, federal agents, and the Mexican military.

norte21This short documentary aims to reveal, in images and mini-interviews, a typical day in this part of Tijuana, with a focus on people who earn a living around the sex trade but not in the sex trade: the outdoors taco stand vendor, the shoe-shine men, the café owners.  The area often has children playing accordions for money, or children running around and playing for fun, zig-zagging about the hundreds of streetwalkers, or las parditas.  Prostitution is not hidden in Tijuana: it is legal, culturally acceptable, and a significant part of Tijuana’s tourist trade revenue. But what of those who make a living around them?  What are their lives like?  Why have they chose to work among the hookers?  This documentary engages such inquiry.


4 Responses to “Description/Treatment”

  1. […] explained earlier in this blog the documenatary is not just about the women working the sex trade in Zona Norte, but all the people […]

  2. Now I understand a wee bit better.

  3. I actually had a few questions for you. I will be shooting a 10 minutes doc in tijuana over the course of a year. One trip in a few weeks, one in the fall, and the next in the spring of 2010. It will be about the prison there and the interaction that my uncle has with the prisoners as far as faith, reformation, ect go. Could you give me any tips as far as filming goes? My biggest concern is getting my camera & tapes confiscated in the streets.

  4. zonanorte09 Says:

    You might want to get a work visa from the counsel, so the local cops don’t have an excuse to confiscate your camera.

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