We all know people like Laura and Carlton Moser. We’ve all been exposed to boring family vacation videos. From all that is known about Laura, Carlton and the Tijuana Bulls, there is no reason to expect anything truly convincing. Laura and Carlton are just lovely people. On vacation south of the border, they visit a strip club, the Trump border wall, a bullfight, and several restaurants. Then they go home. Their insights during the visit can be especially profound (for example, Werner Herzog would bet the weight of the whole world to witness a bullfight), but we share their observations and discoveries. Again, this sounds like someone’s vacation video.
And yet, I watched the whole damn thing.
I enjoyed meeting Laura and Carlton Moser and eavesdropping on their conversations about being a tourist. Of course, only one of their relatives could receive such a documentary from them. The film was co-produced by their son Bobby and Michael Bart, who presented everything in beautifully composed static shots as we hear voice-overs from Laura and Carlton enchantingly observing their surroundings. When we watch them visit the bullfight (would the bull jump into the crowd?) and the border wall (do they support the construction of this wall?), there is some strange tension. We also get a peak in their past as they share the family tragedy they are still going through.
I’m glad Vimeo found this movie and I’m glad it found me. I’m sure some will consider this «Mexico through a white man’s lens», but isn’t that what we all say when we visit a place on vacation? Do we all walk away from a place knowing how to articulate, like a poet, what effect, if any, it has had on us? Somehow, Laura, Carlton and the Tijuana Bulls achieve their own poetry without even trying. Even though my political views may not align with theirs, I feel like I can watch Laura and Carlton’s vacation video series. They are definitely more convincing than my own.