Presented by Xanadu Collective

The Unholy Tarahumara and Rita of the Sky


Read about director Kathryn Ferguson’s life here. This screening is part of a weekend-long celebration of Kathryn’s life and legacy, with proceeds from all events being applied to her medical and final expenses.

The Unholy Tarahumara is a non-traditional film about people losing their traditions. In Mexico’s vast Copper Canyon live the Tarahumara Indians. Ferguson films the life of two families, one that maintains tradition, one that moves toward the dangling carrot of modern life. An unusually intimate film of the Tarahumara, she shows a stark, literal world, as well as voices of Storyteller, a chorus of Gossip, and past mythological figures. Contradicting the notion that the Tarahumara are shy people, we are introduced to talkative Tarahumara women as they share intimacies from private lives. (Dir. by Kathryn Ferguson, 1998, USA, 57 mins., Not Rated)

Rita of the Sky is a documentary about a mysterious woman who was erroneously placed in a Kansas mental institution because her unrecognized native language was described as “guttural noises” of a mentally ill person. Since she spoke no English, she was declared mentally ill and sent to a Kansas mental hospital for 10 years. (Dir. by Kathryn Ferguson, 2009, USA, 74 mins., Not Rated)