Produced out of Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab, the film 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.
A film of undeniable strength and gentleness. With only a few words and a few images, Laura Huertas Millan shows us how important it is to have the freedom to create, to think and to move through the world as our true selves. For some, this freedom must be expressed and lived outside of a marriage that too often entraps the individual. Beyond our protagonist’s words, limited as they are in this film, we find their actions. The act of creation. The filmmaker’s camera lingers on their movements, on their bodies and, particularly, on their hands. The creation of works of art (or of a simple meal) that makes up a part of daily life and the traditions animating it. Actions without concern for any outside observer, uncorrupted by a quest for artistic value. With its meticulous attention and a degree of tenderness, this film explores the foundations of an artistic life and reminds us that freedom is always possible.
Laura Huertas Millán is a French-Colombian filmmaker and visual artist, whose practice stands at the intersection of cinema, contemporary art and research. Selected in cinema festivals such as the Berlinale, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Rotterdam International Film Festival, New York Film Festival and Cinéma du Réel, her films have earn many prizes around the world. More than twenty retrospectives and focus of her work have been organised in cinematheques such as Toronto ́s TIFF Lightbox, Harvard ́s Film Archive or Bogota ́s cinematheque, and leading film festivals as Mar del Plata and Rencontres du Documentaire de Montreal. Huertas Millán holds a practice-based PhD on “Ethnographic Fictions” developed between PSL University (SACRe program) and the Sensory Ethnography Lab (Harvard University).