The film course I attended in the past week has given me a gift. Of course anything new we do does exactly that, it depends on how we implement the new knowledge.
First of all I shared experiences with other students and instructors who left me with no doubt that there are different ways of seeing exactly the same thing. We, as a group were three different nationalities and cultures.
We were not just a group of people learning a technique. For just a short time in our lives we became part of a much larger 'group', the village of Teotitlan.
The people we filmed live their art, it's who they are, their art is their being, their livelihood and their heritage.
Virtually every home is a showcase for the talent of the artisans. Brick and adobe homes on rough cobblestone streets. Decoratively painted walls, rugs hanging from the doorways and bright painted signs offer a hint of the delights you will find inside. Generally a series of rooms surround a central courtyard. Most we encountered have cement or tiled floors, sometimes neatly swept dirt. The walls are painted violet, orange, yellow and inspire you with their choice of color.
In the courtyard of the Arte de Sega family is a huge tree which shades the surrounding verandas. Amid the sound of turkeys, chickens and smell of wood fire is the sound of the looms click, clack, bang.
We filmed the process of growing silk worms, harvesting the cocoons, the dying of the garment and the weaving.
Our film was shown to the community in a gathering on Thursday evening and I was a little nervous about their reaction to our endeavors.
The reaction was one of emotion from several of the participants, the subjects of the documentaries and from the community in general.
A man we had met casually at a restaurant, stood and expressed his thoughts with deep emotion, thanking us for sharing the talents of village with the world. It was rather a shock to me because I figured we needed to thank them for allowing us to film and be in the village.
Seeing with new eyes has been their gift to me.