In an exclusive interview with Shelley Morrison (Will and Grace) and Walter Dominguez (Weaving the Past) much is learned about this dynamic duo who has been married for more than forty years. In the world of Hollywood celebrities, this is not only a feat in and of itself but a testament to the level of dedication they have to one another. Together they have survived many challenges and losses but this has proven to only strengthen the bond which exists.
The interview is focused on the documentary, Weaving the Past: Journey to Discovery, which is written and narrated by Walter Dominguez with Shelley Morrison producing. One of the first questions addressed is whether or not any of the relatives discovered through the course of the journey in making this film have been able to visit the United States. Dominquez comments no success; in part due to the constraints on visas to Mexican nationals most likely resulting from illegal immigration activity at the border and the Department of Homeland Security as well as the Department of Immigration concern over these individuals overstaying their welcome, in part due to the fact these relatives have lives just as chaotic and demanding as anyone else with businesses to attend to. Morrison, however, validates the fact the couple has returned to Leon, Mexico to visit since the completion of the documentary and the family now remains in touch through the gift of Facebook technology. Shelley Morrison notes the film is a hybrid documentary which goes beyond the stagnant rhetoric of simply spitting out facts that lead to a boring dissertation on a subject.
The combination between documentation and dramatization pulls the audience in making them question the connections existing in their own lives. The film has been pre-screened in relationship to a benefit for the Los Angeles United Methodist Museum of Social Justice in California and presented by the Academy of Motion Pictures. It was well received by the audience members confronting the couple with words of encouragement attesting to the fact this work has prompted self-awareness within them to embark on personal journeys of their own in discovering lineage linkage so often overlooked in the modern age. The Accolade Competition Winner and the Indie Fest Award Winner film is set for a limited world premiere screening from August 15-21, 2014 at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 theatres in Pasedena, California.
This reaction is what Morrison comments on as being one of the most important lessons learned many years ago from a director she highly respected…”audiences want to do some of the thinking.” In addition to having achieved this in Weaving the Past: Journey to Discovery, Dominguez and Morrison have managed to instill a sense of hopefulness in others to be able to retrieve broken familial ties thought long severed. It has awakened my own personal quest to discover a brother placed for adoption by my mother shortly after his birth using only a birth card and a few pictures as beginning direction since my mother passed away many years ago. It is uncertain what he will, in the end, be found but the film has spurred the realization there are those on the other side who need closure and connection as well.
The interview ends with a short discussion about the duet’s upcoming project, Whitewashed Adobe, which is a history of Los Angeles from many perspectives and nationalities including one woman whose family was confined to one of the World War II internment camps for Japanese Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It is these kinds of documentaries which should be a part of the school system in the United States as there are firsthand accounts from individuals who lived in the moments brought to life through the wonder of film and the implementation of photography in addition to acting parts based on historical accounts usually far more authentic than the dramatization seen in many Hollywood films these days.
There is much learned through this film about the Mexican Revolution with regard to the atrocities of the Porfirio Diaz regime as well as the early politics in the attempt to squash the freedom of speech of the followers of Eduardo and Ricardo Flores Magón along with revolutionist actions of the Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM) led by Praxadis Guerrero aimed at protecting the rights of the oppressed. It is truly a noteworthy documentary which is a MUST SEE. Shelley Morrison and Walter Dominguez extend invitations to all Americans with relatives in the vicinity of Pasedena to come see the film and embark on a road to self-awareness and the importance of family ties. Further information about the film can be obtained through Facebook and the film website.
Image courtesy of Lori De Waal