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Blossoms of Fire

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Product Overview

The beauty and strength of the women of Juchitan, Mexico's matriarchy, have inspired legends and songs for centuries, as well as recent tabloid stories of male harems and free love. This delightful documentary sets out to separate fact from folklore and sociology from sensationalism. Blossoms of Fire shows these women in all their brightly colored, opinionated glory as they run their own businesses, embroider their signature of fiery flowers and comment with angry humor on articles in the foreign press depicting them as a promiscuous matriarchy.

A midwife laughs over a husband's behavior during birth, a gay man cheerfully asserts that mothers are in charge and many proudly describe their daily challenges. Although maintaining Zapotec culture and languagemay be a battle, it is plain that no one - man, woman, young, old, gay or straight - would willingly change places with anyone in the first world.

Blossoms of Fire is a dazzling, whirling dance of a film that celebrates a culture rooted in a strong work ethic and fierce independent streak, resulting not only in powerful women, but also in the region's progressive politics and an unusual tolerance of alternative gender roles.


Studio New Yorker Films
SKU 202474002
UPC 717119861643
UPC 14 00717119861643
Format DVD
Release Date 6/20/2006
Cast & Crew
Ellen Osborne - Director
Maureen Gosling - Director
Maureen Gosling - Writer
Toni Hanna - Writer
ReviewSource Dennis Schwartz
Review We learn that the natives live a simple life: work hard, eat well, watch TV and enjoy their many fiestas. It traces the Juchit‡n's history back to a critical point in the 14th century, a time when they had to fend off invaders (never becoming enslaved to the Aztecs) and women became legendary for their role as fierce fighters.
Reviewer Ozus' World Movie Reviews
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource The Village Voice
Review One is the idea of a more fluid sexuality in the pre-European Americas, which comments from lesbian tortilleria owners and a tranny seamstress, though inspiring, fail to open up. The other is Juchitan's role in sustaining a leftist government, the first successful challenge to Mexico's one-party system. Backed by folk songs and swirling shots of fiestas and markets, Blossoms is feel-good tourism but by its own bounds only woolly anthropology. That a balanced - and poor and indigenous - society of inner strength and work ethic must "come from" somewhere is in itself unwittingly exposing.
Reviewer Phyllis Fong
ReviewRating 8
DVD, English, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Marrit Ingman, Austin Chronicle A bright, amiable chronicle of the vivid lives of the women of Juchitan.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor ...fulfills the first criterion of any good ethnographic study: It's about an inherently interesting subject.
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