On November 1, as Americans are finishing their Halloween candy, our neighbors to the south are celebrating Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Often mistaken for the same holiday, the celebrations are actually quite different. While Halloween is about costumes, haunted houses and trick or treats, Dia de los Muertos is an annual holiday where the living remember and honor their dead. Families across Mexico transform their towns and cemeteries with bright orange marigolds, colorful sugar skulls, and stylish skeleton ladies called Catrinas. At night, by candlelight, they gather to eat, drink and reflect on the lives that have gone before.
One of our first films, made for Safe Crossings, a Seattle-based non-profit that helps grieving children heal, it has also turned out to be one of our most popular: it’s been viewed, posted, embedded, shared and blogged hundreds of times on multiple sites all over the world. This evocative short film opens a conversation about the fragility of life, shows us how one culture honors relatives and friends who have died, and reminds us that though our own loved ones may be gone, they needn’t be forgotten.