On February 2nd, 100 people of all ages gathered in the community of Llaguepulli for a film screening. This was the seventh time in the same number of years that the families, Elders, youth, children and the political and spiritual authorities of the Mapuche communities of the Aylla Rewe Budi gathered together in one space – sometimes under a roof, sometimes under the stars – to watch a short film created by the young filmmakers of the territory. One of the modules that make up the Mapuche School of Filmmaking and Communication (MSFC), the Filmmaking Production Workshop takes place every austral summer, in collaboration with Wapikoni Mobile. After a month of creative work, where each participant contributes to a collective project according to her or his interests, knowledge and inspirations, this year's workshop has borne its fruits.
The film that the young filmmakers proposed to their territory this year, Pewmayiñ, is as rich in images, sounds and emotions as it is in ancestral wisdom shared with tenderness and passion by two Elder women who work to ensure that Mapuche knowledge is passed on to the newest generation. Evoking the power and importance of dreams, the film transports us into the world of children who dream of their past, of the richness of their culture, and of the defence of their people against a relentless colonization. Dreams are what bring the children to seek out the Elders and their old knowledge; this quest propels the children into the role of actors in the continuity and survival of their culture and territory. This film mirrors perfectly the central objective of the MSFC: To use filmmaking as a practical tool to encourage young Mapuche to act as protagonists in the transmission and revalidation of Mapuche knowledge and ways of life, in the protection of their territory and of all the stories and ancient knowledge hiding on its beaches, between its hills, carried on its winds.
Everything the MSFC does obeys the imperative to revalidate this way of being on the territory. The community screening thus becomes much more than an opportunity to bring people together to watch the film. It is an occasion to validate the film with the families and traditional leaders of the territory, before sharing it with the world. It is an occasion to listen carefully to the reflections that the film provokes among the Elders, the young participants' parents, the children. This year, we began the event with a nvtram (conversation) and mixawun (sharing of food) to reflect together on the trajectory of the MSFC's seven years in the Aylla Rewe Budi territory and on the priorities for the years to come. When the sun began to dip into the horizon, we all moved outside where we had arranged a theatre under the stars, so that we could watch the film with our feet firmly planted on the earth and with a view to Lake Budi, which gives its name to the territory.