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5 Documentaries to Understand Oaxaca

Oaxaca, a state located in southern Mexico, is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, indigenous communities, and traditional cuisine. To truly understand the complexity and diversity of this region, there's nothing like watching a good documentary. From the inspiring stories of local chefs to the struggles of indigenous farmers, these films offer a unique and nuanced perspective on Oaxaca's history, culture, and people. In this article, we've compiled a list of five must-watch documentaries that will help you explore the many facets of this fascinating state.

1. Street Food Latin America

More than a food series, it's a feast of inspiring stories from people who found in cooking their reason for living, wrapped in dignity, love, and freedom. Episode three is dedicated to the gastronomic richness of Oaxaca. A Netflix original series.

2. Guardians of Corn (Los Guardianes del Maíz)

The documentary won the award for Best International Documentary at the American Indian Nations Festival, at the Red Nation Film Festival.

For thousands of years, indigenous farmers in the Mexican state of Oaxaca have kept alive a system of seed exchanges that, like oral almanacs, have brought the collective knowledge of traditional milpa* farming methods into the Twenty-first Century. You can watch it here

3. Muxes

This candid and revealing documentary captures the unique point of view of the "muxes," people who share their success stories and struggles for a radically authentic life. You can find it on HBO Max. Trailer

4. They Made Us Night" (Nos Hicieron Noche)

Is one of the most attractive and atmospheric recent Mexican documentaries. The film by Antonio Hernández premiered at the Ambulante Independent Film Festival.

Available now at Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City

Watch the trailer, clic the image.

5. Maria Sabina

The documentary is about the life of María Sabina, a healer from the mountains of Oaxaca, and all her knowledge about hallucinogenic mushrooms. Enjoy it at Film Latino.

Additional Information:

  • Oaxaca is a state located in southern Mexico, known for its rich cultural heritage, indigenous communities, and traditional cuisine.

  • "Milpa" is a type of agricultural system used in Mesoamerica, where different crops such as corn, beans, and squash are planted together in the same field. This practice has been passed down from generation to generation and is an important part of the cultural identity of many indigenous communities in Oaxaca.

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