Tlakatiliztli: A Grass Roots Film Documenting Indigenous Wombyn in L.A. Screened at the Birth Roots Center

author: 
Gabriela M. Reza (interviewed by SD Indymedia)

Film makers of Tlakatiliztli: Diana Lopez Angulo & Yasmin Pineda & Casondra Mojica

Reportback by: Gabriela M. Reza, a midwifery student, who attended the film screening, interviewed by San Diego Indymedia

"I found it so inspiring that a group of wombyn without prior filmmaking experience
could make such an empowering documentary..."

Over 35 folks gathered at the Birth Roots birthing center in Chula Vista on January 14th for a screening of the documentary film Tlakatiliztli and discussion with some of the filmmakers & filmmaking crew. Over nine aspiring midwives of color from LA & San Diego county were present as well. Two of the filmmakers who were able to bring the film to San Diego, Yasmin Pineda & Diana Lopez Angulo with her son Izkalli (who is
almost two years of age), blessed the space with a welcoming song & sacred smudge in solidarity with the screening also being part of Enero Zapatista - the month-long series of event celebrating Zapatista resistance.

They shared what inspired them to create the film and inspired many of us to grow from their experience. Tlakatiliztli is a native word for birth, combining the words for people (tlaka) and life (iliztli). The Mothers of Anahuak, a Los Angeles collective of conscious indigenous mothers, produced the documentary over a period of six weeks, interviewing defferent wombyn about their birth experiences.

The film delivers the perspective of indigenous wombyn living in East LA who share a wide range of birth experiences, home births to hospital births, abortions, miscarriages, moon time & sexual realities of what they experienced in their upbringings as well as what some of them wish to create change for the future
generations to come. For example, having more open communication with the young wombyn about sexuality and honoring their moon time instead of ignoring the deepest topics that mean so much to every wombyn's livelyhood.

"Watching & hearing the stories from the heart & soul of the sisters in this film was very empowering. The voices of sisters living in the hood, in a conscious positive documentary is not very common in modern main stream media."

"I felt so thankful to be able to witness this film & it has inspired me to hopefully document the stories of more sisters who's voices are not commonly heard as well."

Some of the questions asked after the film were: How did they come up with the idea of creating the film & what kind of equipment did they use to document it? They replied by sharing that they made the grassroots documentary by borrowing a camera from a close friend and putting out a call in their community for wombyn to share their experiences. One of the callings that motivated them to create the film is to provide healing in their own communities because any wombyn who carries their baby in their womb in any different circumstance, to term or has a miscarriage, has a hospital or out of hospital birth, all birthing experiences require a very sacred healing process to take place. The Mothers of Anahuac viewed that the sharing of these birthing stories are part of the sacred journey in that healing process.

Some of the filmmakers emphasized that all wombyn, all potential parents, should look into their birthrights, rather than just assuming that they don't have a choice. Without this awareness, wombyn, especially wombyn with out birth awareness, can often be disrespected in the birthing process, and the birth can become traumatic and overwhelming, rather than a satisfying and positive experience. Tying the themes of the film to Zapatismo through the indigenous experience: it is revolutionary for wombyn to reclaim their birthrights.

Filmmaking crew present at the event: Carlos & Diana Angulo Lopez, Yasmin & Eduardo Pineda expressed gratitude to the licensed midwives Darynee Blount & Sarah Davis, for the existence of the Birth Roots birthing center, which gives access to family planning, home birth and birth center options for families through out San Diego county.

Mothers of Anahuak Web SIte || Trailer for Tlakatiliztli || Birth Roots Center Web Site || Event Annoucement