La Libertad

Laura Huertas Millán

2017 | 00:30:00 | France / Colombia / Mexico | Spanish | Color | Dolby 5.1 | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: New Releases, Single Titles

Tags: Artist Portraits, Family, Indigenous, Labor, Latino/Chicano

The “greca”, the meander, is the main symbol weaved in the textiles made by the Navarro sisters, from Santo Tomás Jalieza, México. A geometrical form of an endless braid of diamonds, the “greca” represents corn (an entity worshiped by the pre-hispanic civilisations of Mesoamerica). It stands for sustenance, but materialises as well the feminine power of producing abundance and fertility - the textiles displaying this ongoing motives could be read as invocations for life and growth. This is a “greca” film, a meander film, with no beginning nor end, weaving together fragments of daily life.

In the Navarro´s textiles, animals, objects and spaces are represented. Their fabrics are made in the backstrap loom, a prehispanic technique preserved by indigenous women for centuries. Through textiles, women have built the archives of a parallel history of Mexico's crosscultural relationships, "mestizaje", colonialism and modernity. Echoing the politics and ethics represented in the objects they weave, the Navarro have built an ecological and familiar micro society, earning their independence and freedom.

"Produced out of Harvard 's Sensory Ethnography Lab, Laura Huertas Millán 's masterful La Libertad follows a group of matriarchal weavers in Mexico, whose backstrap loom – a pre-Hispanic technique preserved for centuries by Indigenous women in Mesoamerica – provides the formal structure for the film ́s exploration of handicrafts and their ties to freedom. With echoes of the influential ethnographic work of Chick Strand, La Libertad combines astute observation, testimony, subtle transfers in scale, space and texture, as it weaves its own singular study of labour, creativity,and the mysterious traces that circulate between them."

– Andréa Picard

"As if squaring the circle, Huertas Millán implicates her own filmmaking practice within this circuit of women’s creativity. When filming the weaving process, she takes care to describe crisp, minimalist lines and forms in her framing, organizing the thread in the image as if she, too, were “weaving” a piece of visual information. In this way, Millán’s formalism mimics the rigor of her subjects, combining the materialist precision of Liu Jiayin with the tactile, non-intrusive gaze of Bruce Baillie."

– Michael Sicinski

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Prizes + Awards

Salon de Montrouge, Prix du Conseil Départemental des Hauts de Seine 2017

Exhibitions + Festivals

The Flaherty Seminar 2017, New York, US

Toronto International Film Festival, Wavelengths 2017, Canada

Doclisboa 2017, Lisboa, Portugal

La Habana Film Festival 2017, La Havana, Cuba

Antofadocs 2017, Antofagasta, Chile

Art of the Real 2018, New York, US