The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz

Rated NR

More than three decades ago, anthropologist Spencer MacCallum bought some pottery in New Mexico. It turned out to be the work of Mexican potter Juan Quezada, and so a journey began to track down Quezada. When their paths finally crossed, MacCallum convinced the artist that there was a market for his pottery, and together, they turned the Mexican village of Mata Ortiz into a kind of artists’ community. Like a lot of documentaries, Scott Petersen’s The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz is more about the story it’s telling than the filmmaking. Outside of the admirable craftsmanship, who knew this pottery had this kind of a tale to tell? The film is a little dry, maybe, but it’s definitely a fascinating subject about two remarkable characters and one village that might not still be around without Quezada and MacCallum.

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