Series: Living Heritage



A film by Joanna Michna and Thomas Wartmann
© 2005 / 43 min (German+French) and 52 min (English) / Digi Beta / 16:9 / Stereo

In Mexico, death is not understood as a definitive farewell. Once a year, the country turns into an ocean of yellow and orange Cempasúchil flowers, also known as the flower of the dead. During the first two days of November, the deceased will return to their families on the path shown by the flowers. The days of the dead are seen as a festive period of joy, celebrated according to ancient traditions, a family gathering in a particular manner.

This does not mean that death would not be experienced as grievous after all: Beatríz Huacuz is a 24 year old young woman of the Purépecha people. Her family lives in a village nearby the Pátzcuaro sea. Agostin, her grandfather, was the most important person in her life. He died only a few days before the days of the dead and will be expected back this year for the first time. The aim now is to dedicate him a colourfully decorated altar. Beatríz wants to welcome her grandfather with a special surprise: All of his life, Agostin had dreamed of being instructed in how to fabricate the well known skeletons made of paper-mâché. In order to fulfil her grandfather's greatest wish Beatríz leaves for Mexico City, because this is where the real skeleton artists live…



Written and directed by Joanna Michna and Thomas Wartmann
Cinematography: Dieter Stürmer
Editing: Manuela Kempf
Sound: Roland Winkler
Sound mix: Hans R. Weiss
Music: Ludwig Eckmann, Winfried Zrenner
Production manager: Markus Breimeier
Production assistant: Anna Brass
Producer: Thomas Wartmann
Commissioning editor: Ulrike Becker, SWR

A coproduction of Filmquadrat & Südwestrundfunk
in collaboration with ARTE.

Supported by the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern.

Special thanks to the UNESCO.


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