A Deathly Icon Emerges From the Shadows in the Documentary ‘Santa Muerte: A Folk Saint in Texas’

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IMAGE COURTESY OF TEXAS FOLKLIFE
  • Image courtesy of Texas Folklife

Produced by Texas Folklife, the short documentary Santa Muerte: A Folk Saint in Texas looks at the “rising presence of Santa Muerte in communities across Texas; from its controversial significance as a folk saint, to its condemnation by the Catholic Church, the impact it has on religious freedom and the place it holds among censored female deities.” The unofficial saint enjoys a fervent following in South Texas as a saint of last resorts, a saint that can be asked for things that a proper saint cannot. As such, it’s no wonder that so many folks on the margins of society (and Catholicism for that matter) are drawn to Santa Muerte (literally translated as “holy death”), identifying with her as an outcast made more alluring, more beautiful and more triumphant by her distance from dominant norms. By way of whetting your appetite for this week’s free screening of Santa Muerte, be sure to check out the trailer below.

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