Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Documentary DVDs about Dia de los Muertos

I own three documentary DVDs about Dia de los Muertos, varying in quality. The first, and best is "Tradiciones Mexicanas: Dia de Muertos." This one is presented entirely in Spanish, but English subtitles are available. This documentary goes deep into many of the traditions, and includes recipe demonstrations for making molé.

Order Tradiciones Mexicanas: Dia de Muertos here!

The second is "Food for the Ancestors: The Mexican Celebration of the Days of the Dead," produced by PBS. Similar in format to "Tradiciones Mexicanas: Dia de Muertos," it relates the heritage of food and how it relates to Dia de los Muertos.

"The Day of the Dead" was the first documentary about Dia de los Muertos I found on DVD, and I've had it for a few years now. This DVD focuses on Dia de los Muertos celebrations in California, and features the Latin band Quetzal. Lots of great music on this one!

Order Food for the Ancestors here!

Order Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Family and Life here!

All these DVDs are fairly available, and are extremely reasonable! I bought "Tradiciones Mexicanas: Dia de Muertos" for about six dollars!

There are a few movies that have Dia de los Muertos themes. The first notable one is John Huston's 1984 film adaptation of Malcolm Lowery's "Under the Volcano." There are numerous film sequences of ofrendas and accurately depicted scenes at a cemetery. The opening title montage has a fantastic sequence of traditional Dia de los Muertos folk art.

Under the Volcano can be ordered here!

Robert Rodriguez's "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" features a Dia de los Muertos parade sequence, and with Johnny Depp, Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas, is just a heckuva fun film anyway!

Once Upon a Time in Mexico can be ordered here!

"El Muerto / The Dead One" starring Wilmer Valderrama of "That 70s Show" is a low-budget movie that plays liberally with elements of Dia de los Muertos, but is still worth a peek. It's based on Javier Hernandez' "El Muerto" comic book.

El Muerto / The Dead One
can be ordered here!

Dia de los Muertos - Morelos at Mercado Mayapan - November 1, 2009

Mercado Mayapan (Centro Mayapan / La Mujer Obrera) hosted the largest Dia de los Muertos event in El Paso this year. 2009 was dedicated to the Mexican state of Morelos. Attendance has grown almost every year at Mercado Mayapan's Dia de los Muertos event.

The events throughout the city were more limited as opposed to a few years ago. 2007 was an exceptional year for events, including the culture cruise throughout town (and in Ciudad Juarez — just a few months before violence in the city erupted). 2009 was the first year that the city had not hosted its own event (or partnered with a sponsor) in quite a while. One can only assume that budget cutbacks and the state of the economy are reasons for the slimming of events. Let's hope we can get back on track — Dia de los Muertos is good for the culture of the city and the area.

The photos below are from the celebration at Mercado Mayapan, on November 1, 2009

Dia de los Muertos events in Mesilla, New Mexico - October 31, 2009

A few photos from the annual Dia de los Muertos event on the plaza in Mesilla, New Mexico. Photos from October 31, 2009.