A Film by
Barbara Montgomery
 
   "Moving People Forward Through the American Past"  
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Historic Significance

EL MITOTE or ‘MITO’ as Mexican men have called it, is energy: a living force that breathes life into the world of male history.  It comes forth in the talk of women when it carries the images of who we are and who we have been.

The feminine power in El Mitote, women talk, could be Native American, Mexican American, every shade of Black, Yellow or White.  As always, the talk brings change, because in the talk is a contour of our country; the back story to Southwestern citizenship, in the lost years from 1865 to 1900.  Mitote is set in New Mexico during the time period identified as “The American Western Traditional Period.”  The Southwest, during mid-19th Century until well into the 20th Century was an unforgiving, dangerous frontier.  For all of its dangers; however, New Mexico offered a great and valuable reward.  In droves, thousands upon thousands of hopeful and vigorous Americans descended upon its open ranges to test their mettle at making a new life.  Overlooked in history’s montage is the part all kinds of women played in settling the American Southwest, and that many among these midwives, herb doctors, teachers, cowgirls, farmers, teamsters, students and housewives were free Black women.  Mitote is but three of many choices to detail the basics of pioneering society; expressed as “woman talk.”
 
Factually engaging and sensitively rendered from the pen of Leslie Lee, Mitote is the screenplay adaptation of an original, historically based theatrical one act drama by Maisha Baton, Ph.D.  Visualized as rural backyard conversation are the personal stories of three African American women from New Mexico at the end of the 1800’s.  Each woman has a compelling story to tell, each story based upon a different, unique historical reality.  We witness, through their lives, the shadow details of pioneering Southwestern history.

Mitote is destined to pilot a series on American history after Reconstruction. Telling stories from the perspectives of the three women.
  Depiction of the US in 1815