Mariachi is an essential part of Mexican culture. It’s more than just music; it’s a lifestyle that views the world from a macho perspective. The business is tough and women are seldom appreciated in this strictly male domain. Nevertheless, a handful of female musicians choose to be Mariachi. The first women mariachi band that formed in 1958 and is still performing, and a band of young female musicians who struggle with family issues and their vocation.
In 2012 German director Doris Dörrie spent eight weeks with her crew in Mexico City, documenting the music and daily lives of the women who play mariachi. The documentary Che Caramba Es La Vida focuses on Maria Del Carmen’s life, a young ranchera singer who sings in Plaza Garibaldi, where she and her family have lived all her life. When these women sing about death, love and poverty, the difficulties of everyday life in Mexico City appear slightly more bearable.