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.