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Muerte Querida (Dearest Death)

by Ileana de Cardenas, MVA 2016

Muerte Querida (Dearest Death) explores a controversial Mexican folk icon, Santa Muerte, whose popularity has recently exploded amongst the Latin American diaspora. Saint Death, known for her efficiency in granting her devotees’ wishes, has an identity that is multivalent yet ambiguous. This film follows the community of devotees at Templo Santa Muerte, a temple in East Hollywood, who emphasize the protective, healing, and economic roles of the skeletal saint. Muerte Querida (Dearest Death) immerses the viewer in the world of Santa Muerte devotion by investigating personal narratives and rituals of those who worship the Bony Lady in order to improve their lives, illuminating the multiple identities and functions of the saint in a localized context. Using ethnographic methods and interviews, Muerte Querida (Dearest Death) offers an intimate portrait of the budding cult in the United States—a side that has been hidden from view in the news and popular media.


Running time: 26 minutes

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