Film Screening: 2501 Migrants: A Journey
Date: 5:00pm PDT October 18, 2010 Location: Council Chambers
2501 Migrants: A Journey / Reencuentros: 2501 Migrantes (Mexico/USA, 2008, 57 min.) examines the effects of mass emigration in the Oaxacan town of Teococuilco, virtually deserted after most of its adult indigenous population departed to look for work in the United States or Mexico City. Yolanda Cruz’s documentary tells the story of artist Alejandro Santiago, who sets out to create a monumental installation of 2501 life-size sculptures of all the people who left—“a way to repopulate the village – at least symbolically.” Cruz’s own story and that of her subject coincide in the film: “Santiago and I are both from Oaxaca – one of Mexico’s poorest states, and both of us have created art that comments on the state’s status as a leading exporter of human labor to the United States.”
This film offers rare insights into contemporary indigenous Mexico. It scrambles the easy dichotomies of static tradition versus global forces of change, and indigenous culture versus Western “high art” or popular culture.
“Cruz allows her subjects to tell the story in their own words. But the perspective is uniquely hers, a reflection of someone with an intimate knowledge of both sides of the border.” — Los Angeles Times
About Yolanda Cruz
Yolanda Cruz is an indigenous Chatino from Oaxaca, Mexico, and the producer-director of seven award-winning documentaries. Her work has received the support of prestigious organizations such as the Rockefeller foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting and the Ford Foundation. It has also screened at film festivals and museums internationally, including the Sundance Film Festival, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Park la Villette in Paris, the National Geographic All Roads Film Project and the National Institute of Cinema in Mexico City. Her films include 2501 Migrants: A Journey (2008), Freedom to Learn: School to Prison Pipeline (2007), and The Ones Who Come to Visit / Guenatíza (2003).