Blossoms of Fire is a dazzling, whirling dance of a film that celebrates the extraordinary lives of the Isthmus Zapotecs of southern Oaxaca, Mexico, whose strong work ethic and fierce ... See full summary »
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The people of Juchitán Oaxaca
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Blossoms of Fire is a dazzling, whirling dance of a film that celebrates the extraordinary lives of the Isthmus Zapotecs of southern Oaxaca, Mexico, whose strong work ethic and fierce independent streak rooted in their culture, have resulted not only in powerful women but also in the region's progressive politics and their unusual tolerance of alternative gender roles. Written by Maureen Gosling

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Documentary

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Release Date:

3 February 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anthi fotias  »

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Opening Weekend:

$2,390 (USA) (3 February 2006)

Gross:

$2,390 (USA) (3 February 2006)
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Won Award for Excellence from the Society for Visual Anthropology, American Anthropological Association See more »

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Matriarchal Society Gets Noticed
24 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

BLOSSOMS OF FIRE is visually appealing and contains some very interesting information on the relationships between women and men, women and business, and women and politics in Oaxaca, Mexico. The wonderful colors that infuse almost every scene are one of this documentary's biggest draws. That the women of the area make most of their apparel by hand is well known, and many of the dress items are sought after by locals and foreigners alike.

The women are what this documentary is all about. The focus is on the matriarchal society that once existed (and maybe still does) in this area. Women run many of the businesses, are highly independent, and are deeply involved in the politics of the region. Film makers Maureen Gosling and Ellen Osborne dive into the culture of Oaxaca and take the viewer with them as some of the people of Oaxaca comment on this area's cultural significance. Some say that there is no matriarchal hierarchy, while others say there is. Perhaps the matriarchal nature of the area is so ingrained in the people of Oaxaca that they don't even notice it. Or perhaps it's just a bunch of media hype to make the area more interesting. Who knows.

The cleanliness of the area is what will impress many watchers, too. Most rural areas of Mexico tend to look unkempt, with hogs and dogs running amuck through tattered streets, and the residence wearing holey clothes. Not so here. The streets are swept clean, the people impeccably dressed, and not a hog or dog to be seen.

The area is also a hotbed of anti-Mexican governmentalism. Fiercely independent by nature, the women (and men) protect their identity with rabid ferocity. But they also accept change and integrate it into their society ...but in a way that befits their Oaxacan culture rather than one that eats away at it.

The film does stray some when it starts discussing the acceptance of homosexuality and lesbianism, though. Although interesting, it isn't what drove this area of Mexico to its current high level of female sophistication.

Even so, this is interesting information and the bright adornments on all the beautiful women is pure eye-candy.


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