The Mexican tradition of the Days of the Dead is evocatively explored in Lourdes Portillo's rich mosaic of a film. <I>La Ofrenda</I> takes a non-traditional look at the Mexican and Mexican-American attitudes toward death and the dead. In Mexican tradition, the first days of November is when the dead come to visit. They are greeted with affection and respect as people parade through the streets to the cemetery bearing gifts of food and flowers. Homemade altars are erected, complete with fruit and candles and photos of those who have passed into the next world. The film moves from a Mexican village to San Francisco tracing the pre-Hispanic roots of this unique tradition. The celebration of life through death assists in capturing the intensity of Mexican culture.
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