In March 2020, just before the pandemic set in and narrowed our worlds, Marie-Astrid Do-Rodriguez, a teacher and artist at Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy in San Pablo, brought two of her 15-year-old students to Yucatan, Mexico, to meet local artisans who specialize in Mayan embroidery.
The trio filmed their experiences traveling and interacting with Yucatan residents and artists, and Bay Area filmmaker James Hall turned the footage into “Puntos de Vida” (Threads of Life), 25-minute documentary that feels like a mix of home movie and PBS travelogue — there are observations and anecdotes by the travelers, fascinating footage of artists at work and Mexican life in general, and glimpses of stunningly beautiful Mayan creations.
The trip and film were organized and funded in part by MUREM (Museo de Ropa Etnica de Mexico) and Jonathan Logan Family Foundation.
Now Los Cenzontles, which during the pandemic has posted a number of videos of its students and teachers in action, is releasing “Puntos de Vida” to the public, just as it is being sent to curators at film festivals and cultural institutions around the world.
At a time when COVID has made it much harder to travel and absorb other cultures, “Puntos de Vida” is a fascinating and heartwarming viewing experience.
Details: Now available for free viewing at Los Cenzontles’ YouTube channel.
Dan Carter was a reporter for nomad Labs, before becoming the lead editor. Dan has over forty bylines and has reported on countless stories concerning all things related to tech and science. Dan studied at CSUF.