Transnational Fiesta: 1992
directed by Wilton Martinez
produced by Wilton Martinez and Paul H. Gelles
color, 60 min, 1993
in English and Spanish
with English subtitles
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Until recently, it was widely assumed that Native communities throughout the Americas would be absorbed into the mainstream or otherwise disappear. But 500 years after the beginning of the Conquest, indigenous peoples are asserting their presence and identity with renewed vigor.
In 1991, Teodocio and Julia Quispe, a transmigrant couple living in Washington, returned to their homeland, Cabanaconde, an indigenous peasant community in the southern Andes of Peru, to celebrate the annual patron saint fiesta. It was the first time that this major religious celebration was sponsored by Cabaneños living outside of Peru.
Transnational Fiesta: 1992 documents this landmark celebration as well as the Quispes' multicultural and transnational experiences in Washington and Cabanaconde. Members of their extended family, including North Americans, and other migrants also participate in the fiesta, where the complexities of cultural identity, religious syncretism, interethnic marriages, migration, and racism all converge.
The film reveals how the perpetuation and constant re-invention of village ceremonial life and identity are influenced by the migrants. It also shows how the migrants' own sense of ethnic identity is shaped both by their ongoing participation in the ceremonial life of their native community and by their experiences in the U.S.
Defying the stereotypical perception of indigenous peoples as backwards, isolated, and static in time, the film shows how the Quispes are at the forefront of a global phenomena, expanding their archipelago of migrant enclaves.
Transnational Fiesta: 1992 will generate thought and discussion in a wide variety of courses in cultural anthropology, Latin American studies, American studies, and social psychology and sociology.
2-DVD Set: Transnational Fiesta: 1992 & 20 Years Later
Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Award of Merit, Suffolk Film and Video Festival, New York, 1993
Muestra Internacional de Cine Etnológico, Granada, Spain, 1996
Dreamspeakers Film Festival, Canada, 1994
Bronze Apple Award, National Educational Film and Video Festival, California, 1994
Chicago Latino Film Festival, Chicago, 1994
Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, New York, 1994
American Anthropological Association Film & Video Festival, Washington DC, 1993
Transnational Fiesta: Twenty Years Later
The Left Eye of God: Caodaism Travels from Vietnam to California
Dollars and Dreams: West Africans in New York
In the Footsteps of Taytacha