Throughout the early twentieth century thousands of European Jews sailed to Mexico looking for opportunity and escaping increasing persecution at home. A small group made their way north to the border town of Tijuana. Tijuana Jews is a documentary and a personal exploration of this community that blended Jewish and Mexican cultures and customs in an unlikely place and time.
Growing up Jewish in Mexico, director Isaac Artenstein found reactions of surprise, even disbelief, from many people north of the border: they had no idea there were Jews in Mexico, and especially in Tijuana. Tijuana's dark legend continues to fire up the imagination with stories of free-flowing liquor, cheap narcotics, beautiful señoritas and black velvet paintings. Tijuana Jews is an authentic and living testimony set against conceptions and misconceptions of this near-mythic city.