Days of the Dead: A Living Tradition
With the arrival of the conquistadors, many ancient Mesoamerican rituals were absorbed into Christian holidays. This program examines a collection of sacred, social, and artistic traditions that survived European assimilation and now compose one of Mexico’s most important annual festivals. The film follows the travels and experiences of a young Purépecha artisan, her grandmother, and their family during the weeks leading up to the Days of the Dead. As these struggling craftspeople market their wares, study new techniques, and prepare for their deceased patriarch’s spiritual return, viewers will see a wide variety of folk art practices—from pottery painting to flower decoration to papier-mâché skeleton sculpture—coalesce into a momentous cultural event.