one videocassette (52 minutes) sound color Digital Betacam video master
two film reels (1,866 feet) sound color 16mm master film
two film reels (1,925 feet) sound color 16mm archival original
Motion pictures (visual works)
Andes Mountains (Argentina)
title from credits (published work)--archival collection
Supplementary materials: audio tapes, still photographs, production files, correspondence, promotional materials and press clippings.
Archives also holds Spanish language original released under the title Hermogenes Cayo.
Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research supported processing and the National Film Preservation Foundation and the Smithsonian Latino Center supported preservation of the Jorge Preloran Film Collection.
Donated by Jorge Preloran in 2007.
Edited film is an ethnobiography of Hermogenes Cayo, a religious image maker in the high Andean plateau of Argentina. The film portrays Hermogenes, his wife Aurelia Kilpe, and their children in their Andean lifestyle, as well as Hermogenes' passion for painting, carving, building, and his devotion to the virgin Mary. The film tells the story of how Hermogenes became an image maker and devotee to the virgin, thus capturing a lifestyle and philosophy rapidly disappearing. Hermogenes, if not the last, is one of the last image makers of his kind. His effigies, carved out of cactus root, are intricate and beautiful. The film includes Hermogenes reminisces, which are his narrations accompanied by old photographs. The audio track was made separately from the filming, so all of Hermogenes' or Aurelia's narrations overlay the footage. All narration is translated by the voice of Preloran, but the actual voices are clearly audible. The film does not follow a clear narrative structure, transitioning between themes and revisiting earlier themes later. In this way the film weaves a portrait of Hermogenes Cayo, the craft of image making, an indigenous Catholicism, marriage as well as portraying the lifestyle of a solitary Andean family braving the harsh conditions of the Andes. The relationship between individual and culture, as well as cultural change, is artfully expressed by Preloran.
Courtesy of Jorge Preloran
Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, MD