Denise Richards
USA 1996 | 30 Min. | OF, Umatic

CALAVERAS is a doc­u­men­tary on the altars that are built to remem­ber and honor the deceased on Novem­ber 1, known as ‚Dia de los Muer­tos’ (the Day of the Dead). In recent years, this His­pan­ic tra­di­tion has been adopt­ed in many U.S. cities and the altar con­cept has been expand­ed to include public exhi­bi­tions and com­mu­ni­ty altars designed to call atten­tion to social con­cerns like Aids and killings in drive-by-shootings. 

»I believe that they come and go and I also believe that they come par­tic­u­lar­ly on a spe­cial day. And many cul­tures of the world have this kind of thing where they light the way. Per­haps the smell of the choco­late liqueur and the promise of a sip of Bohemia, which he really loved, and all the lights that will be lit, will bring him back«

»There’s the think­ing among Mex­i­can Amer­i­cans, or Chi­canos, or what­ev­er we’re called, that it really doesn’t belong to anyone else, I dis­agree. You know, it belongs to every­body, cause every­body dies.« 

»I feel that, here in San Fran­cis­co, people have been given a lot of lib­er­ty to cel­e­brate Day of the Dead the way they want to. In Mexico, our pro­ces­sions are very respect­ful and somber. Here, they’re full of protests and what­ev­er goes. I don’t think that’s respect­ful to the people who have passed on, so I don’t think it’s correct.«

Denise Richards studierte Film- und Kul­tur­an­thro­polo­gie in San Fran­cis­co. CALAVERAS ist ihr erster Film.