|S a n R a f a e l F i l m s
To understand the role of public devotions in
Mexican life today, one must understand what
they have cost.
From the 1840’s until the 1990’s, successive
Mexican governments have sought to control and
frequently to suppress the religious life of the
people. Suppression became particularly bitter
following the Constitution of 1917. In a country
with almost 90% of the population professing the
Catholic faith, how could this be?
A 56 minute documentary, independently produced in
16mm film by Patricia Lacy Collins and Robert S. Cozens
(copyright 2005, San Rafael Films), narrated by Edward
James Olmos, 2005.
Following the Spirit, the third documentary in the Darkness into Light series, brings the story
of the spiritual journey of the people of Mexico to the present time. It traces a long- standing
friction between church and state that resulted, in the 19th and 20th centuries, in somber
and bloody repression of religious and human rights in Mexico. Leading historians paint a
broad canvas of multiple struggles little known outside of that country.
The historians and writers who tell this story, include Drs. John Mason Hart, Guadalupe
Jimenez Codinach, Manuel Ramos Medina, Raul Gonzalez Schmal, Elena Poniatowska, and
The irrepressible spirituality of contemporary Mexico plays against the dark years of
struggle. Observances of the Days of the Dead, the revived processions of Corpus Christi,
and the canonization of San Juan Diego provide memorable counterpoints.
Today resolution of the conflict is underway. As never before, the Mexican people can
choose to believe—or not believe--- in matters of religion. Believers once again can profess
their faith in an open and communal manner. What will the future hold?
This is a story for our time, our world.
Sponsored by the Southwest Alternate Media Project and the University of St. Thomas
Funded by the Harry S. and Isabel C. Cameron Foundation, and other contributors.
New distribution to PBS stations is planned by NETA in the Spring of 2010. Past broadcasts
include EWTN and Canada's Salt and Light.
Awards: Gold Jury Award, WorldFest, Houston
The Columbus International Film and Video Festival,