3.  Filmmaking with Indigenous Peoples

The indígena, or indigenous peoples of Latin America, have endured deprivation of their land, resources, and wealth, to survive to the present day. Overcoming poverty and oppression, many have stepped forward to transmit traditional ways of life into the future. The films showcased here that have been made with them are not just films that support anti-colonial and restoration of sovereignty movements, but are also accounts of people who have lived with indigenous peoples, such as Marta Rodríguez and Jorge Silva of Colombia, and Nicolás Echevarría of Mexico.

-The Brickmakers


COLOMBIA / 1972 / Spanish / B&W / Blu-ray (Original: 16mm) / 42 min

Directors, Editing: Marta Rodríguez, Jorge Silva
Photography: Jorge Silva
Source: Fundación Cine Documental

Marking the beginning of these two filmmakers’ fruitful collaboration, this film is a call to action. It considers the lives and work of a family of brickmakers in the outskirts of the Colombian capital, Bogotá. Following years of research, it deconstructs structural social conditions that sustain the serf-like bonds between brickmakers and employers, and condemn the workers to impoverished lives.

-Our Voice of Earth, Memory and Future

Nuestra voz de tierra, memoria, y futuro

COLOMBIA / 1973–81 / Spanish / B&W / Blu-ray (Original: 16mm) / 110 min

Director, Editing: Marta Rodríguez, Jorge Silva
Photography: Jorge Silva
Sound: Ignacio Jimenez, Eduardo Burgos, Nora Drukovka
Music: Jorge Lopez, Yaki-Kandru
Production Companies: Fundación Cine Documental, ICAIC
Source: Cineminga

Myth, poetry and popular memory. Fusing documentary and mise en scène, the film captures a seminal moment in the modern day indigenous rights movement in Colombia and Latin America: the first years of the Cauca Regional Indigenous Council (CRIC), their struggle to reclaim ancestral territories, and the move “from submission to organization.”

-María Sabina, Woman Spirit

María Sabina, mujer espíritu

MEXICO / 1979 / Spanish / Color / DVD (Original: 16mm) / 80 min

Director, Script: Nicolás Echevarría
Photography: Gonzalo Infante
Editing: Saúl Aupart
Music: Mario Lavista
Source: IMCINE

María Sabina is a female shaman of the Mazatec people of central Mexico. She uses mushrooms and medicinal plants to produce hallucinogenic states for traditional healing. This film, which carefully documents the traditional healing techniques of the Mazatecs, is one of Nicholas Echevarria’s finest works.

Echo of The Mountain

Eco de la montaña

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