Border Banditscontinues to reveal Texas’
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Bob Bullock Texas History Museum.
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Nearly 100 years later, the events that took place in the Rio Grande Valley are still reverberating with Texans.
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Fort Stockton, TX 79735
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"The documentary offers a first-hand account of the killings."
The Texas Justice Tour continues.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
"Tells all our stories, even the parts we'd rather leave out."
THE SAN ANTONIO CURRENT
"There is nothing self-righteous or strident about its tone."
THE VALLEY MORNING STAR
"Blows the John Wayne mythos right the hell out of Dodge."
THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE
"Along the way Warnock, who isn't Hispanic, uncovered the bigger story."
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS
Border Bandits sparks bill in the Texas Legislature!!!
Rep. Aaron Pena introduces legislation after viewing the documentary!!!
Read about it here.
"Ride to the sound of the guns, boys!"
And coming soon to Corpus Christi, Dallas and Waco!
View the trailer here.
Border Bandits Synopsis
From the producer of the award-winning PBS documentary Return to Giant comes a new look at a very old incident. In 1915 a group of Mexican banditos raided the McAllen Ranch, one of the largest in the area. The next day a group of Texas Rangers supposedly arrived and eliminated the perpetrators. However, the real story is not as tidy as it has been portrayed. Roland Warnock, a 19-year-old cowboy working on the Guadalupe Ranch near present-day Edinburg, witnessed two of these killings when he saw Texas Rangers from Company D shoot two unarmed men in the back and leave their bodies by the side of the road. The effects of these killings by the Rangers are being felt in south Texas some 80 years later. This single incident brings into play much of the roots of the distrust between Mexicans and the Rangers, as well as the continued friction between Hispanics and Anglos in Texas.
An important and moving story, Border Bandits was produced and directed by Kirby Warnock, the grandson of Roland Warnock, and features the actual voice of Roland Warnock as he describes the events of 1915. In 1974, he sat down with his grandson and dictated the entire story to him on a reel-to-reel tape recorder for Baylor University's oral history program. The younger Warnock kept the tapes, then thirty years later digitized them and placed them in this documentary, with re-enactors portraying the events described by Roland Warnock. Unlike other documentaries that rely on voice talent to read letters or journals, Border Bandits contains the actual voice of the primary source of information, Roland Warnock, lending it an air of authenticity unmatched in most documentaries.
Re-enactment scenes were filmed at Old City Park in Dallas, and Warnock's
For the performers, he "stumbled" across The Ramirez Family, an all-female mariachi band from Odessa, Texas. "A close friend took me to lunch at a restaurant in Midland, and The Ramirez Family was performing there. I had never heard those Tex-Mex sounds coming out of a female band before, and I was immediately captivated." Warnock tracked down Betty Ramirez, the leader, and arranged for them to record "Desperado" in Spanish for the soundtrack. The result is a haunting score of a familiar rock standard, sung in Spanish by female voices.
family ranch near Fort Stockton, Texas. Narration for the film is provided by Jon Dillon, the well-known radio personality for KZPS, 92.5 FM in Dallas, Texas.
Because of its Hispanic influences, the film demanded Mexican-themed music, but the only problem was that Kirby did not speak Spanish and was not totally familiar with Tex-Mex music, save for the cojunto radio stations he heard growing up. Faced with this dilemma, he went back to his roots—rock and roll.
"I've always been a big fan of the Eagles' album, Desperado, so I contacted Don Henley and asked him if we could do a Spanish version of the title song. He gave us permission and basically said that it would be no problem for him to get us the clearances," recalls Warnock.
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Read the story that inspired the film, from the book Texas Cowboy, available for $11.50 per copy (includes postage and handling). Trans-Pecos Productions, P.O. Box 193, Fort Stockton, TX 79735.