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Taste of Mexico Preview: Agave is Life Film Screening

  • Mexic-Arte Museum 419 Congress Avenue Austin, TX, 78701 United States (map)
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In anticipation of our upcoming Taste of Mexico festival, Mexic-Arte Museum will be hosting a special screening of Agave is Life on Friday, April 27th from 6-8:30pm. The documentary film explores humankind’s symbiotic alliance with the agave plant through the lens of anthropological and archival materials. Narrated by actor Edward James Olmos, the film delves into the ceremonial and sacred importance of this multi-purpose plant, native to the Americas. The agave plant was an early critical resource for people living in arid regions of the American Southwest and Mesoamerica, contributing to the rise of ancient civilizations as a source of food, drink, textiles, fuel, and medicines. Today, this unique desert plant, once embedded in cultural identity, mythology, art, and ritual, faces an uncertain future. ural identity, mythology, art, and ritual, faces an uncertain future. 

Following the film, Mexic-Arte Museum's Executive Director, Sylvia Orozco, will hold a lively discussion with the film's producer and director, Meredith L. Dreiss and David O. Brown. After the discussion there will be a guided mezcal tasting by Wahaka Mezcal. Small bites incorporating agave will be provided by La Pera. Make sure to join us for this immersive exploration of the agave plant and its rich history. The event is free and open to the public. 

More about the Filmmakers: 

Meredith Dreiss holds an M.A. in Anthropology with a specialization in Mayan Archaeology. She is currently a Research Fellow at The Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin and is President of ArcheoProductions, Inc. Her company develops and produces anthropology-related educational projects. The documentary film, Chocolate: Pathway to the Gods, was produced in 2005 and later became the title of an academic book published in 2008 by the University of Arizona Press. Her current documentary film, “Agave is Life”, explores 10,000 years of a unique human-plant symbiosis. Along the way we learn how the multi-purpose agave became embedded in myth, religion and cultural identity among peoples living in portions of Mexico and the American Southwest.

David Brown holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin and has worked for more than 35 years as a professional archaeologist and anthropologist, authoring scores of articles, professional papers and technical reports on the archaeology and cultures of Texas and surrounding areas as well as the central and northern Andean region of South America. In addition to extensive experience in field investigations and research in several regions, he has taught at universities in Texas and Ecuador. In recent years, he has worked closely with partner Meredith Dreiss in the production of the documentary film Agave is Life. He assisted in a number of roles for the film, serving as director and music coordinator, as well as helping with research, scriptwriting and editing.

Earlier Event: April 15
Family Day: The Art of Resistance
Later Event: May 2
Taste Of Mexico