Texas Tavola

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Film Critique on Texas Tavola

Texas Tavola is a short, anthropological film which focuses on how the religious culture of people who originate from Poggioreale, Sicily, still continues in Texas. It does this by giving insight into the spring festival Texas Tavola - an important religious time, when people hold altars in their homes in honor of St Joseph. It follows the build up and vigorous preparation, starting weeks before, women from the community come to help with baking. The actual day of the event holds elaborate religious rituals and prayers offered to St Joseph, followed by the gathering of the whole community. The film also takes us back via photos to Sicily where this religious tradition originated, showing the contrast between the original festival in Sicily and now in Texas. The whole of the spring is punctuated by Tavolas hosted by different Sicilian families in this community. The ethnographic filmaker, uses a very personal technique to explain the Tavola. By following one family in particular and showing the religious event from the whole communities perspective, it helps us as viewers to understand how important this event is to each individual and to the community as a whole. They create a deep understanding by filming the preparation, they also interview key members in the build up, such as the host family, the priest who carries out sermons and volunteering women - giving different people’s perspectives shows how it touches the people in unique ways. All events of the day are filmed, including the intimate rituals as well as the gathering of the whole community afterward. This style whereby each step of the process is captured showed the immense belief in St Joseph and how this religious event is vital for individuals and the community to keep the traditions of their past going, its style also showcased the strong emotion involved, for example, when they enter the house many people are tearing up - this helped us to understand why this...
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