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Buried Mirror / El Espejo Enterrado

  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0249281/

    The Buried Mirror:Buried Mirror, Program I: The Virgin and the Bull

    Carlos Fuentes / VHS / Documentary / Culture-History

    World-renowned author and diplomat Carlos Fuentes explores the diversity that comprises the Hispanic world. From Spain and Portugal to South and Central America, the Caribbean and the U.S., a whole range of peoples, with specific traditions and histories, make up the entity of Hispanidad.
    Program I: The Virgin and the Bull. Fuentes examines the mix of people found in contemporary Latin America. Spanish, Arab, Jewish, Indian and African forebears make for a rich, illustrious and vibrant culture. From the shores of Vera Cruz to Spain, with its flamenco and bull-fighting traditions, this author traces that which defines Latin America.

    The Virgin and the Bull, part 1 of Carlos Fuentes's five-part series subtitled Reflections on Spain and the New World looks at two of the fundamental archetypes in Spanish culture: two archetypes that are at once sensual and poorly understood by outsiders. On the one hand, the Virgin Mary, a woman whose status in Spanish Catholicism and the hearts of the faithful approaches that of a deity, a woman born free of sin, the Mother of God, the ultimate model--however problematic--of womanhood itself. For Mary there have been immense cathedrals built, masterful frescoes plastered, wars waged. The sensual richness of the art in all media that has swirled about the devotion to her provides us a glimpse into the soul of Spanish culture itself; even those who might criticize this from within or without Spain must nonetheless know and experience the importance of the Virgin Mary. On the other hand, the matador, the bull fighter, and his opponent, the bull. We know of the importance of the bull in the art of Spanish masters like Picasso, yet to understand Spanish culture and Spanish identity and the reason why Picasso paints the bull is to see into another sensual side of Spanish life. This side is to many no less problematic than the devotion to Mary. Fuentes asks quite candidly, Where else can a man--in the culture of original machismo--dress in such flamboyant, tight-fitting clothing and strike such poses than in the bull ring? Fuentes explores the Virgin's and the bull's contradictions that somehow make them so similar, microcosmic contradictions that help explain Spain itself: the sexual and nonsexual, the male and the female, the pacifist and the violent, the eternal and the mortal. (Amazon.com) 59 mins.

    The Buried Mirror:Buried Mirror, Program II: Conflict of the Gods

    Carlos Fuentes / 1065 / VHS: S2137Documentary / Culture-History

    World-renowned author and diplomat Carlos Fuentes explores the diversity that comprises the Hispanic world. From Spain and Portugal to South and Central America, the Caribbean and the U.S., a whole range of peoples, with specific traditions and histories, make up the entity of Hispanidad.

    Program II: Conflict of the Gods. Modern Mexico City has revealed the Aztec temples and ruins once thought lost. Carlos Fuentes leads the viewer through an exploration of the Indian world that believed the blond exiled god would return. The meeting of Europe and America was bloody, but there is hope in the union of these traditions. (Amazon.com)

    Conflict of the Gods, part 2 of Carlos Fuentes's five-part series, The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World, looks at the rich, poorly understood cultures that predate contact to colonial Spain: in particular, the Aztecs of México. So many legends and myths are told of the Aztecs, of their bloodthirst, their human sacrifice, their warrior culture and hegemony over what is now central México--Fuentes tries to show us some of the truths and some of the untruths of the Aztecs. For Fuentes, the rediscovery of México's Aztec heritage is something he can recall from childhood. Indeed, it was only in the '20s and '30s of this century that the European models of culture and class distinction began to melt and give way to the diverse fabric that is México today. To do this, Fuentes brings us on a trip through Aztec and Maya Pyramids and teaches us of their astronomy--and their serenity. That their prophecies foretold the return of their blond-haired patron god from exile puts an ironic, ambiguous spin on the demise of the Aztecs and Maya so soon after contact with the Spanish. --Erik Macki
    59 mins.

    The Buried Mirror:Buried Mirror, Program III: The Age of Gold
    Carlos Fuentes / 1066 / VHS: S21372 / Documentary / Culture-History

    World-renowned author and diplomat Carlos Fuentes explores the diversity that comprises the Hispanic world. From Spain and Portugal to South and Central America, the Caribbean and the U.S., a whole range of peoples, with specific traditions and histories, make up the entity of Hispanidad.

    Program III: The Age of Gold. Shortly after the conquest Spain and all of Europe felt the rush of enormous treasures from the New World, including not just gold and silver but chocolate, the tomato and the potato. These gifts transformed a world ambivalent about earthly things. Phillip II lived in a monastic-like cell while Cervantes questioned all values in his work. And yet Native Americans transformed the richness of the Baroque into an American idiom. (Amazon.com) After Cristobal Colombo's nondiscovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to India in 1492, it took Europeans another hundred years or so to figure out that the people Colombo had labeled indios, "Indians," were in fact no such thing. This was a new world, in fact, and its mysteries evoked all the dreams and lore of lost continents that have been told in Europe for millennia. The lore of el Dorado--the city of gold, the fountain of youth, paradise itself--was a prime motivator for early Spanish explorers in the Americas. The Age of Gold is part 3 of Carlos Fuentes's five-part series The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World, and it looks at the Spanish exploration and early colonization of the New World--and the effects that treasures like gold, silver, chocolate, tomatoes, and the potato had on the Old. While civilizations were under threat in the New World, Philip II was leading a detached life at the Spanish court and defending Roman Catholicism from all threats perceived and real--and a golden age of culture was flourishing in a Spain that read Cervantes's subversive Don Quixote and saw Velázquez's brutally accurate masterpieces. --Erik Macki. 59 mins.

    The Buried Mirror:Buried Mirror, Program IV: The Price of Freedom

    Carlos Fuentes / 1067 / VHS / Documentary / Culture-History

    World-renowned author and diplomat Carlos Fuentes explores the diversity that comprises the Hispanic world. From Spain and Portugal to South and Central America, the Caribbean and the U.S., a whole range of peoples, with specific traditions and histories, make up the entity of Hispanidad.

    Program IV: The Price of Freedom. One million Mexicans gather in the Zocalo, the central square of Mexico City, to celebrate El Grito, the cry for independence. Beginning here, Fuentes travels south into the rest of Latin America, sifting through the difficulties and failed promises left in the wake of revolutionary independence. (Amazon.com) Revolution has characterized nearly every aspect of Latin American history and culture in the last 500 years; in Carlos Fuentes's The Price of Freedom, the fourth part of his five-tape series, The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World, he explores specifically the lives and philosophies of political revolutionaries from San Martín to Bolívar. From his deathbed Bolívar declared, "Those who serve the revolution plow the seas"--but he could not have foreseen the immense difficulty that the postrevolutionary era would encounter in constructing politically, economically, and socially stable societies--societies in which justice and progress worked hand in hand with a Spanish and Native American heritage. This is the era of the gaucho, the cowboy, and the birth of great cities, from the México City that absorbed old Tenochtitlán to Buenos Aires. --Erik Macki
    59 mins.

    The Buried Mirror:Buried Mirror, Program V: Unfinished Business

    Carlos Fuentes / 1068 / VHS / Documentary / Culture-History

    World-renowned author and diplomat Carlos Fuentes explores the diversity that comprises the Hispanic world. From Spain and Portugal to South and Central America, the Caribbean and the U.S., a whole range of peoples, with specific traditions and histories, make up the entity of Hispanidad.

    Program V: Unfinished Business. This century has brought enormous changes to the Hispanic communities of the world. Today half a million Mexicans brave border patrols to enter the US in search of Gringo gold. In return they bring Latino gold, the riches of centuries of tradition and change. Amazon.com

    Future generations will certainly draw comparisons between the Renaissance and the 20th century. The Renaissance brought Spain's discovery of, and profit from, the New World--starting a 500-year-long course of radical, rapid change. Unfinished Business, the last part of Carlos Fuentes's five-part series, The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World, looks at the 20th century and how it has brought the New World back in touch with the Old--technology and transportation have made the world smaller, more mobile, closer. But prosperity has been difficult to propagate. Plagued with unemployment and social unrest, Latin America has cosmopolitan societies with a virtually disenfranchised agrarian class. The United States is increasingly bound to its southern Spanish-speaking neighbors as millions of illegal immigrants make their way north of the Rio Grande--Fuentes remarks, "They are looking for the Gringo hold but also bringing the Latino gold." By the year 2020 by some estimates, 30 percent of United States residents will speak Spanish as their first language. The multiplicity of cultures, art, music, dance, and family ties has already left its indelible mark on North America. What the next 500 years have in store will certainly surprise as much as the past 500 years have. Part 5 in some ways concludes Fuentes's well-researched, excellently photographed journey; in other ways, Unfinished Business leaves us with as many questions as when we began. --Erik Macki
    59 mins.


    Salem State University | Department of World Languages & Cultures | Language Resource Center

    Page URL: lrc.salemstate.edu/espejoenterrado.htm
    Last updated: October 10, 2006