Ancestral Secrets (Ep 6: North America)

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North America is a rugged territory. The sun does not give truce in a desert with conflicting border lines. But indigenous communities have managed to survive this scenario. And secretly preserve their rituals. Every year in Tecate, a dance is performed to celebrate the Spring Equinox. Laurie French annually crosses this border between the United States and Mexico to meet her siblings. But this March, in particular, getting to the ceremony will be
more difficult. Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 make the route a magical journey. And a little further to the center of Mexico, one of the oldest cultures in America is preparing to celebrate the day of La Virgen de Guadalupe. It seems like a contradiction: indigenous people celebrating a Catholic virgin.
But it is a secretively guarded syncretism. Behind the figure of the virgin is mother earth, encrypted in the symbol of a vagina. The two stories close with the ceremony of the “Temazcal” or “sweat house”. Ritual of confinement in the dark next to burning stones. Water is poured over them, mixed
with herbs, raising the temperature and humidity. Together with the prayers and songs of the attendees, the space becomes a cauldron of sweat and emotions. It is a purification of body and spirit.

La Ventana Cine
Directed by: 
Jota Loyola Crovetto
Chile / Colombia
6x52' or 12x26'
Spanish / (English Subtitles)