Documentary about Huautla de Jimenez and Mazatec mushroom rituals.
March 20, 2012 11:22 AM   Subscribe

Documentary about Huautla de Jimenez and Mazatec mushroom rituals.
In January of 2010, Dan Glass, Alex de Campi and I went to Huautla de Jimenez, Mexico to interview people about Mazatec healing rituals involving psychedelic mushrooms. We only had one contact in town, four days to shoot, and none of us were fluent in Spanish. Fortunately, luck was on our side. The Secret Life of Mushrooms is an examination of the cultural impact of an indigenous people's worldwide exposure of their psychedelic spiritual practices.

It was challenging to come in to that situation as a tourist, and attempt to gain enough trust for people to share their feelings about an extremely personal spiritual matter, when mushrooms are what brought swarms of tourists to the area for the last fifty years. We were lucky enough to encounter an extraordinary number of people who were kind enough to help us out, inviting us into their homes, introducing us to other people in town, acting as translators, and ultimately becoming our friends.

It’s been a long and difficult road to make a fair and balanced film about how the history of half a century of drug tourism in a small town has changed it. And with a three person shooting team, three person post team, and a one woman distribution team, to say we did it with a skeleton crew is kind of an understatement. But I’m pretty happy with the result, and more importantly, my friends in Huautla seem to be happy with it, too. More outtakes are available here, here, here, and here.
Role: Producer/DP/Editor
posted by HellKatonWheelz (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

This looks really interesting. Did you also touch upon the Mazatec people's use of salvia divinorum in the documentary?
posted by Burhanistan at 4:02 PM on March 22, 2012


I have a section about that in the special features, but it didn't really make sense to include in the narrative of the main film. Salvia seems to mostly be used when mushrooms are out of season, or as a poultice to heal wounds.
posted by HellKatonWheelz at 6:33 AM on April 9, 2012


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