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‘Day of the Dead’ documentary at Folk Art museum

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The Museum of International Folk Art will screen the documentary film, “La Festividad de los Muertos /Lanii Xtee Tugul,” 2 p.m. Wednesday in the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors’ Auditorium.
The film focuses on Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) or Todos Santos (All Souls) celebrations by members of today’s Zapotec community in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. The film highlights the influence of the ancient Zapotecs’ cultural legacy, deeply rooted in pre-Hispanic indigenous cultures, in pagan and in Catholic rituals (as it is throughout Latin America).
The film is part of a collaboration, Todos Santos Teotitlán del Valle, between the Metamorfosis Documentation Project (MDP) and the Balaa Xtee Guech Gulal Community Museum in Teotitlán del Valle.
The collaboration consisted of three phases.
The first, in October and November 2012, had young people from the community interested in documenting their traditions apprentice with MDP. This included film, post-production and editing workshops. The documentary, some of which was shot by the apprentices, was the final product.
The second resulted in both a permanent Day of the Dead exhibit in the Teotitlán Community Museum and the documentary’s world premiere shown in the Teotitlán del Valle Civic Plaza. MDP gifted the documentary’s reproduction rights and sale revenues to the Community Museum.
This event at the New Mexico History Museum is part of the third phase where MDP presents talks in conjunction with screenings of the documentary. Additionally, MDP is submitting the documentary to U.S. and international film festivals and features the project on its website, metamorfosisdp.org with video footage and photographs.
The Museum of International Folk Art is presenting “La Festividad de los Muertos / Lanii Xtee Tugul,” as part of its annual Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead Celebration. Project leaders Armando Espinosa Prieto and Craig Johnson will preface the presentation of the documentary with a multimedia lecture on the history and current state of indigenous Catholicism in the Americas, and specifically how it manifests in Day of the Dead rituals and celebrations.