Santa Fe Film Festival: Film
documents circle of indigenous healers
Sandra Baltazar Martinez | The New Mexican
Carole Hart believes indigenous medical practices cure cancer. In
1994, she was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer that had
already moved to her brain. Oncologists gave her three to four
months to live.
Then, by coincidence, she met a spiritual leader named Jyoti during
a trip to California.
A few months later, she found herself in a teepee, experiencing a
healing ceremony called a Native American Church Meeting, led by
several tribal leaders.
"When I came out of there, I felt every cell had shifted and aligned
somehow," Hart said in a recent telephone interview. "Then one of
the tribal men told me, 'You are healed, but it will take a while
for your body to catch up.' ... (This) brought me into direct
relation with indigenous medicine."
By October 2004, Jyoti had managed to gather 13 women in New York to
form a circle of indigenous healers. They had traveled there from
all over the world and created what is now called The International
Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. The grandmothers
visited each other's homes in Asia, Africa, Mexico, Central America
and the United States. One of the stops in the U.S. included visits
to San Juan Pueblo, the Pueblo of Tesuque and Chimayó.
Hart decided to document and film their meetings. Her movie, For the
Next 7 Generations, is part of this year's Santa Fe Film Festival.
She and her husband, Bruce Hart, have produced other films. They
also were among the original writers for Sesame Street.
The 84-minute film captures the interactions of the grandmothers'
visits to different countries and tells each of their stories. All
of the 13 women believe in Mother Earth and in saving it from human
destruction. In their prayers, the women ask for blessings for the
next seven generations.
"The way indigenous people see the world is very consistent. ...
What they see is a web of life, where everything is connected," Hart
said. "If you do something in the web of life, it's going to have a
ripple effect. It's going to affect everybody."
One of the 13 women featured in the film is Grandmother Flordemayo,
a native Guatemalan who now lives in Albuquerque. She started
learning the art of healing, called curanderismo in Spanish, from
her mother at age 4. She has lived in New Mexico for nearly 40
Flordemayo is the founding director of the Institute for Natural and
Traditional Knowledge based in Albuquerque. She is in Sedona, Ariz.,
this week participating in the seventh gathering of The
International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers.
IF YOU GO
What: Screening of the documentary For the Next 7 Generations
When: 3:45 p.m. Thursday at DeVargas and 10:15 a.m. Saturday at IAIA
Cost: Tickets are $10 per film
www.santafefilmfestival.com or call 989-1495
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