California Museum Kicks Off Fall Lowrider Celebrations with Milestone Film Screening

The California Museum will host the first Northern California screening of the award-winning documentary “The Great Lowrider Tradition” on Saturday, October 21 as part of its Fall programming focusing on the rich history, artistry and impact of lowrider culture.

The California Museum will host the first Northern California screening of the award-winning documentary “The Great Lowrider Tradition” on Saturday, October 21 as part of its Fall programming focusing on the rich history, artistry and impact of lowrider culture.

A one-man production by high school custodian and self-taught director Martin Torrez, the film covers the history of lowriding as told by some of its best-known Los Angeles pioneers, examining how this expression of Mexican American cultural pride prevailed over racism to become a worldwide phenomenon. A panel Q&A will follow with Torrez alongside documentary subjects Oscar Ruelas, co-founder of the Duke’s So. Cal, the world’s oldest continuing lowrider car club; and Little Willie G., legendary Chicano lead singer of Thee Midniters. The film has won four domestic film festival awards and was a semifinalist in Sweden’s Boden International Film Festival. Its premiere at the DTLA Film Festival last Fall sold out in record time.

“My goal was always to make this part of history—not only our people’s, but American and California history,” said Torrez. “So I’m very proud and honored that the ‘Great American Lowrider Tradition’ will be the first car film ever screened at the California Museum. Being cemented in the halls of our state history is phenomenal.”

Noting that just last week a legislative resolution took effect creating California Lowrider Day and encouraging Californians to learn about lowrider culture, California Museum executive director Amanda Meeker said, “We’re thrilled to be an educational hub for lowriding history amid increased awareness of its significance to our state. Bringing personal stories of that history to the state capital through this event is a perfect kick-off to additional lowrider programming we have planned for this Fall.”

Tickets go on sale September 8 at LowriderFilmScreening.eventbrite.com. For more information about the film, visit lowriderdocumentary.org. The screening is dedicated to Ruben Salazar, a Chicano journalist and civil rights activist who was killed August 29, 1970, during an antiwar march.

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