Caitlin Díaz is a filmmaker, colorist and archivist from the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. She currently lives in Pasadena, California. Told through the lens of the maternal experience, Échale Sávila follows the band Sávila on an ancestral journey, unraveling truths within themselves along the way. Fabiola Reyna (guitarist), Brisa Gonzalez (singer) y Papi Fimbres (drums) reunite with their mothers in their current location of Portland, Oregon to honor the histories of their lives and those who came before them.This reunion brings awareness to the experience, responsibilities, and trauma that women, mothers and care-takers face and how that transfers onto the generations that follow. Through this video Sávila seeks to answer questions such as, “How do we break this cycle of repeated suffering? How do we honor and acknowledge the trauma of our history and use it to heal and empower our future?”
The film culminates in a psychedelic rendition of the Painted Hills as the band and their mothers perform the self-titled track, Sávila —a song written to honor the Aloe Vera plant, the beauty of our earth, and the healing elements it provides us. Shot at the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, the performance references the 1970s television show, Midnight Special with theatrical lighting and sparkling highlights. The histories shared at the beginning of the film gain momentum and explode on screen as the band and their mothers dance, sing and play instruments. Music becomes a tool for healing, shared by all and passed on to their audience.
Diaz: 'I love listening to my grandmother talk about her childhood in Roma, TX. The details in setting and the sounds that accompany her memories are pure and uncomplicated, unlike the experiences she had later in life. As I got older, she disclosed more of her shadow memories: The death of her father at a young age, a broken engagement with her first love, run-ins with her husband's mistress. My perception of her shifted and I was able to fully embrace her essence, her truth, but also notice a lot of similar pain in myself. These traumas are passed down through generations, and will continue to do so until one decides to heal those wounds within themselves.
Sávila and I had already established an artistic collaborative relationship on a previous project, so when they approached me about their idea to celebrate their mothers through film I was immediately on board. We wanted to hold space for each mother to tell her story in her own words, and this allowed them to share with their child truths that were kept hidden. It was an intimate, emotional journey, but one that is important to make. There is a major paradigm shift happening right now in the fight to dismantle systemic racism and decolonize our way of existing. Creating space for these stories to be shared is necessary. It was an honor and privilege to work with such open, vibrant souls on Échale Sávila and we hope the film inspires others to make the same journey.'