Jai Alai Blues
How can a rural sport such as Jai Alai be exported successfully to so many countries? Jai Alai Blues is a documentary-project of the history behind it, in which the entrepreneurs took advantage of the success the game and the gambling had provided to promote the sport that ended up being incredibly popular in very unalike countries. Egypt, China, the Philippines, Cuba, Mexico, and the United States are some of the scenarios in the Jai Alai background. In these places, the pelotaris were considered true artists who attracted extensive media coverage to the activities at the Fronton. But the splendor of the Jai Alai golden age didn’t last forever.
The screening of this documentary, directed by Gorka Bilbao and produced by Berde Produkzioak, was organized by MAS Context in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes of Chicago.
This was the first screening of Jai Alai Blues in the United States.
Related to the film, in our Hidden issue, Carlos Copertone and Patxi Eguiluz wrote about the history of Beti Jai, a historic fronton in Madrid. You can read the essay here.