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Published on July 25th, 2013 | by Jeffrey Russel


Official Selection in the Fourth Oaxaca FilmFest

The Oaxaca International Film Festival has chosen our project, Grace, for its Official Selection.  Less than 10% of all scripts and fewer than 5% of all films submitted to the festival make it this far.  Ultimately, the award winners will be chosen from the Official Selection at the festival closing party to be held on September 28th.  Lynda and I may not be able to attend, but we’d certainly love to try.

In the city center – in front of the state government palace,  Campesino Indigena Popular de Oaxaca (People’s Indian Farmers of Oaxaca: CIPO) mostly Zapotec and Mixtec farmers, have raised plastic tarps and political banners condemning the government, globalist financial policies and the NAFTA “free-trade” agreement.  It’s been a very long demonstration.  Campesinos live at two protest sites in rotation.  There, the people cook food and wash their clothes and sleep on grass mats under the shade of their tarps, banners and trees.  Often, musicians sympathetic to the cause, play in the square and attract large crowds who sometimes interact with the protesters and sign their petitions.

You can find more details at the Southside Pride website below.

Oaxaca is home to one of the most spectacular archaeological sites that I have ever seen, called Monte Albán.  This  city was built on a mountaintop for royalty and the well-to-do by slave labor.  There is no water at the top of the mountain. There never has been.  Slaves were required to carry water up from the river, deep in the valley, to the top of the mountain, day in and day out to satisfy the needs of the ruling class.  At some point somebody had to have said, “To hell with this.  Let them get their own water.” And that was the end of Monte Albán, all except for the ruins.  Now, it is a spectacular archaeological site that is a must see if you are anywhere in the Oaxaca Valley area.

Oaxaca city is also a treasure trove of magnificent 17th and 18th century buildings that managed to survive a good number of serious earthquakes.  The main square, or Zócalo, along with a many of the city’s colonial-era buildings are made of a local stone they call “la Verde Antequera”.  In my opinion, some conquistador-come-stone carver, must have been home sick for his native Spain when he found the green rocks because Antequera is the name of a small town 47 km from Málaga, Spain. Other than that, the name doesn’t mean anything other than “the green Antequera”.  Regardless of what they call it, the stone is beautiful to see, especially after a good rain.

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