The Film and Video Center presents At the Movies: Ojo de Agua/New Works Nov. 1& 3 in NY

Celebrating 13 years of Ojo de Agua Comunicación, an independent media center based in Oaxaca, Mexico that empowers indigenous communities to tell their own stories through video, The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in cooperation with CinemaTropical and Celebrate Mexico Now! presents At the Movies: Ojo de Agua. The screenings reflect the diverse nature of the collective’s recent work, ranging from an  award-winning feature documentary and two new grassroots videos produced for local indigenous organizations,  to a playful collaborative video letter project with children from indigenous villages. 

All works with English subtitles. Discussions with the directors follow each screening.
Thursday, November 1, 6:00 p.m. / Diker Pavilion
Silvestre Pantaleón 2011, 65 min., Mexico. Roberto Olivares Ruiz and Jonathan Amith.  Silvestre Pantaleón, who lives in a Nahuatl-speaking village in Guerrero, Mexico, still makes sisal rope in the traditional way using agave plants for ritual use. Seeking relief from chronic pain, he visits a card reader and is told to make offerings to the dead, the hearth, the ants and the river in order to be cured. Working with his family--and with much exchange of tales of the past and present--he fashions a rope that will raise the funds for a ceremony to “lift the shadow” from him.

Winner of the Best Feature-length Mexican Documentary at the 9th Morelia International Film Festival and the Grand Prix Teueikan at Montreal’s First Peoples’ Festival.

Saturday, November 3, 2:00 p.m. / Auditorium
Justicia sin Palabras/Mute Justice 2011, 22 min., Mexico. Sergio Julián Caballero (Mixtec). In the state of Oaxaca, 16 different languages with 166 variations are spoken. Concerned that the lack of interpreters in the judicial system prevents many from receiving justice, this documentary makes a moving case for the linguistic rights of indigenous peoples.

Sembradores de Agua y Vida/Sowing the Seeds of Water and Life 2010, 30 min., Mexico. Sergio Julián Caballero (Mixtec). 
In response to water shortages in the Central Valley region of Oaxaca, local farmers have come together to seek collective solutions. Their hard work and determination pays off when they complete a rain water collection system.
Respondan a Esta Video Carta/Reply to this Video Letter 2012, 20 min., Guillermo Monteforte. 
In the Triqui territory of San Andrés Chicahuaxtla, the children introduce us to their community, sharing their traditions and inviting other children to respond to their video. 
This program has been made possible with support from the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York and the New York State Council for the Arts, a State agency.
For more information on Film and Video programs, please visit 
The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian is located on the south side of Bowling Green, in lower Manhattan,  adjacent to the northeast corner of Battery Park. ADMISSION IS FREE.