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Spirit of My Mother

The travails of an unwed young immigrant mother are set against the colorful seaside culture of Central America's Garifuna people in "Spirit of <B>My Mother," an ethnographic dramatic debut which makes up in sincerity what it obviously lacked in available coin. Latin American fest route is obvious path, with some tube sales possible based on unique content.

With:
With: Francisca Casildo de Crisanto, Johana Martinez, Rosibel Reyes, Tomasa Martinez, Jorge Martinez, Marcelina Fernandez, Santiago Guevera, Brittnee Matya. (English and Spanish dialogue.)

The travails of an unwed young immigrant mother are set against the colorful seaside culture of Central America’s Garifuna people in “Spirit of My Mother,” an ethnographic dramatic debut which makes up in sincerity what it obviously lacked in available coin. Latin American fest route is obvious path, with some tube sales possible based on unique content.

Working as a domestic in Los Angeles, deeply religious young Sonia (Johana Martinez) is haunted by the memory of the callous American soldier who fathered her daughter, Fatima (Brittnee Matya), and by dreams of her deceased mother (Francisca Casildo de Crisanto). Latter implores her to return to Honduran coast to perform a ritual in her memory. This she does, finding peace amongst her people in the process. A culture formed when African shipwreck survivors swam ashore and joined the Arawak tribe in 1634, the Garifuna, according to one-man-band helmer Ali Allie, are in danger of losing their land to business interests that seek to develop the coastline. Pic paints vivid portrait of the culture, although elaborate ceremonies increasingly impede narrative arc. Perfs are enthusiastic.

Spirit of My Mother

U.S. - Honduras

Production: A Los Gatos Prods. production, in association with Grupo Duvali. (International sales: Los Gatos, Los Gatos, Calif.) Produced by Ali Allie. Co-producers, Ishmael Arredondo, Bahram Nadimi, Carlos Castillo, Johana Martinez. Directed, written, edited by Ali Allie.

Crew: Camera (color, 16mm), Allie; music, Garifuna Kids, Grupo Duvali. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (Latin American Cinema), Sept. 1, 1999. (Also in CineLatino Festival, San Francisco; Mill Valley Film Festival.) Running time: 76 MIN.

With: With: Francisca Casildo de Crisanto, Johana Martinez, Rosibel Reyes, Tomasa Martinez, Jorge Martinez, Marcelina Fernandez, Santiago Guevera, Brittnee Matya. (English and Spanish dialogue.)

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