Muxhe is a Zapotec
Indian word that means third gender – the muxhes have been an established part
of Zapotec culture for millennia.
The region of the
Isthmus of Tehuantepec is situated on the narrowest part of Mexico, between the
Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. This region has one of the biggest indigenous presences
in the country, in which Zapotecs have been living for thousands of years.
Juchitán is a small
town in the heart of what used to be the Zapotec Kingdom. The local myth says
that Saint Vicente was travelling with a bag full of muxhes, the bag broke and
all the muxhes inside fell in Juchitán, where they settled. The reality is that
in Juchitán there is an unusually large population of muxhes. In every square
of the town there are approximately 15 muxhes.
having a muxhe as your child is seen as a blessing. Muxhes have a very
significant role in the family and are active members of the community. They
are also accepted and celebrated by the local Catholic Church.
Each year, at the
end of November, there is a muxhe beauty pageant, or vela (dance), attended by
the whole town where a
muxhe is crowned as the new queen of that year. This pageant was set up in 1976
by the organisation called “Las auténticas intrépidas buscadoras del peligro”
(The authentic intrepid seekers of danger) . This movement led to a
reaffirmation of the modern muxhe identity.
will be a character led film – telling the stories from the inside. We already
have access to the key members of the muxhe community, who have agreed to take
part in the film
six weeks we will follow the daily activities of five muxhes with very
different lifestyles (from political activists to artisan craft workers).
During this time we will have an insight into their daily life – exploring what
it means to be a muxhe in 21st
century Mexico, and challenging
western preconceived notions regarding gender.
narrative will follow their preparations for the final beauty pageant – the
climax of the film.
documentary will be an observation of the Zapotecan transgender tradition with
an underlying theme of the celebration of diversity and tolerance.
CAN YOU HELP MAKE THIS FILM HAPPEN?
We already have full access to the key members of the muxhe community, who have agreed to take part in the film.
Any possible donation would help hugely towards the realisation of this project. Each donor will be credited in the film.
So, It is happening, the
train is moving down the tracks.
Please help make this amazing project that will promote tolerance and diversity.
FILM TRAJECTORY AND TARGET AUDIENCE:
This film is targeted for the
international festival circuit – Sheffield Doc/Fest, Copenhagen International
Film Festival (CPH: DOX), Guanajuato International Film Festival and Frameline
San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, among others.
Las Muxhes de Mexico will appeal to a wide
audience. The personal approach and the cinematic visual style of the
documentary will actively engage viewers. The film will convey a vivid portrait
of this unique community – bringing the viewer into the world of the muxhes –
thus celebrating humankind’s diversity, tolerance and life.
Feature documentary 60’
Shooting Format HD video
Director/Producer : Ruth Cook
Line producer: Juan Leon
Director of Photography: Claire
For further information contact Ruth Cook or Juan Leon at: