This video of Dia de los Muertos happening in the streets of San Francisco’s Mission district, posted by YouTube user documentdocument, is an otherworldly creation. To me, it embodies so many wonderful things about the art and craft of life and death. The participants of the event are an almost overwhelming subject. The face paint transforms the living into the dead, masks identity, and unifies the crowd. The costumes range from quite simple to overly elaborate, and the candles, props, and dance all complete the atmosphere.
The film itself is a spectacular piece of storytelling. Splicing in bridges and tunnels seems like the perfect metaphor for crossing over after death. The impact of this piece is made even more poignant by the way that the musicians and dancers in the parade are visually rendered silent with the musical overlay. We can see the drummer playing, see the horns pass through, watch the accordian bellows open and close, but we can’t ever hear a single one of their notes. This helps the film replicate how the memories of the dead can flash in our minds, but never really be heard again.
[via Mission Mission]