“Blossoms of Fire” has the distinction to be the first documentary feature on the lives of Mexican women who run their own fruit and vegetable stands. Obviously, this is one subject which may not seem to require the attention of documentary filmmakers. Yet Maureen Gosling and Ellen Osborne believe these women need a film about their lives, hence “Blossoms of Fire.”
The women in question are part of the Isthmus Zapotecs of southern Oaxaca, where the women have a reputation of being the dominant figures in the local culture. Their influence is such that even the French magazine Elle wrote an article about the strong women who not only wear the pants in the family, but also have allegedly unquenchable sexual appetites. (The local government actually sued the magazine for that article!)
“Blossoms of Fire” offers no serious evidence to support the legend that the women boss the men around (although they seem to outweigh the men – I’ve never seen so many fat women in a single movie). The women boast they are better money managers than their husbands, but the conspicuous lack of middle class trappings (let alone anything resembling a luxury) would put a hole in that claim.
The film was shot in 16mm in 2002 and is only now getting a release. I can’t say it was worth the wait.