DER Documentary

Weaving the Future

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by Mark Freeman
color, 24 min, 1997

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Weaving the Future is a video portrait of a unique indigenous community living in the Andean highlands of northern Ecuador. The story of the Otavalo Indians is not a stereotypical tale of "isolated people struggling to survive." Just the opposite. The people of Otavalo have successfully adapted their traditions of weaving and crafts to the international marketplace. Selling their textiles in the U.S., Europe and even in Japan, the Otavalos are by any measure the most prosperous Native people in South America. Theirs is a fascinating story of economic success and social change.

Increased prosperity has brought new challenges, as well as new opportunities. Weaving the Future is a documentary about people who are dealing with the pressures of change as they make their way in an increasingly global economy.

Weaving the Future explores tensions between traditional indigenous values and customs and the allure of an emerging Home Use economy; considers the impact of tourism; and examines the realities of ethnic tensions between the Otavalos and their less affluent white and mestizo neighbors. The program is intended for use in Anthropology, Latin American Studies, History, Development and Global Studies.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Finalist, Documentary Short, Red Earth Film and Video Conference, 1998
Nominee, Best Global Indigenous Award, Dreamspeakers Festival 1998
Mayfield Special Jury Prize for Anthroplogical Cinema 1999 Pacific NW Festival of Fictional and Anthropological Cinema

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