December 10, 2009
This documentary follows the Northwest Argentine youth as they seek to connect with their cultural heritage and search for their place in Argentina’s present day. With this motivation in mind, they will participate in the annual pre-harvest Carnaval spanning Northwestern Argentina.
The Carnaval in the Andes region of South America is a fusion of Incan aboriginal and colonial Hispanic customs, along with likely elements of West-African tribal traditions, resultant from the Spanish slave trade. Celebrated by lower classes (i.e. aboriginal, mestizo and mulato peoples) and upper classes (i.e. European descendants) in their respective fashions, the Carnaval is a characteristic manifestation of Argentina’s complex and often conflicting social climate.
The festivities begin with the unburying of the Diablo (Devil) each February. Based on popular beliefs, the Diablo fertilizes the Pachamama (Mother Nature), thus producing a prosperous harvest. It is believed that while the Diablo is freed, the people can also be free of inhibitions and indulge in actividies that would otherwise be socially unacceptable. The Carnaval is a place of expression, openness and celebration.