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Film funded with ERC grant in premiere at Mexican film festival

The feature drama film In Times of Rain will have its world premiere at the Guanajuato International Film Festival (#GIFF 2018) in Mexico. The film is a result of the Leiden University project ‘Time in lntercultural Context’, funded by the European Research Council.

Effects of migration and globalisation

In Times of Rain tells the story of Soledad, an Indigenous healer, and her eight year old grandson, Jose. As Jose’s mother Adela wants to take the boy with her to the city, Soledad and the boy need to accept their imminent separation. The film invites an audience to reflect on the effects of migration and globalisation on cultural heritage and continuity.

Traditional knowledge

Each character relates in a different manner to traditional knowledge, Mixtec language and heritage. Soledad is clearly rooted in her community, ancestral knowledge and way of life, while Adela has departed from her community and taken distance from her roots. José, on the other hand grows up as part of the community, in touch with artisanal work of Teo and Maria (other characters) and the knowledge and traditions transmitted by his grandmother. The uprooting of José from the village to Mexico city incites the question, how will he continue to speak Mixtec and carry on traditions in an urban context.

Religious specialists

One of the results of the project ‘Time in Intercultural Context: the indigenous calendars of Mexico and Guatemala’ is the recognition of the importance of the indigenous religious specialist, known as tanisahnu in Mixtec, as tlamatqui in the Nahuatl language and as chuchqajau in K’iche’ Maya. This is the person who is in charge of the ritual calendar in the areas where it is still in use, and who looks after the wellbeing of individuals and the community in general, as a traditional healer and midwife, a person who knows the ceremonial discourse and is a guardian of cultural memory and heritage. The authors of the precolonial pictorial manuscripts were the predecessors of this type of religious specialist.

About the film

In Times of Rain was filmed on location with collaboration of a Mixtec community in the region of Oaxaca, Mexico. The film is Spanish and Mixtec spoken. 

More information can be found on the festival website.

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