Here Lies My Heart is an extraordinary documentary which captures the unique way of life of a small fishing village on El Pardito Island in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. People who live there enjoy its simplicity and tranquility, but the option to choose this way of life may soon disappear.
“Here Lies My Heart is not only beautifully conceived and photographed; it is a rare example of the advantages of contemplation in documentary. One is given the time to experience the families love for the island and also understand why the younger people needed to find alternatives.”
– George C. Stoney, Documentary Filmmaker and Professor at New York University
Five generations have lived off the island, beginning in 1923 when fishermen and pearl divers settled there to escape violent rebels who patrolled the coast, robbing, killing and raping people.
Though the village has connections with the city of La Paz, where they travel to sell their fish and seek services such as medical care, the people who live there find life on the island easier than life in the city, with the land and sea providing them with everything they need. As Pepe Cuevas, a second generation fishermen who lives on the island with his son and daughter, explains, “People that don’t work, can’t eat, but here if we don’t have work, all we have to do is jump in the water and we’ll have something to eat.”
But with fish becoming increasingly scarce, some members of the younger generation have left the island. Three of the younger men have formed a popular ranchera band, having taught themselves to play guitar during the long days spent on the island as teens.
While Pepe has a funny and light-hearted nature, his mood changes when he talks seriously about the problems of overfishing and how the commercial fishing industry does not understand the need for conservation. Underlying his concern is that these powerful forces will forever destroy their simple and tranquil way of life.
Note: Includes five-minute bonus featurette, “John Steinbeck.”
Run time: 50 minutes
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Higher Education DVD + PPR, Higher Education DVD + PPR + Streaming License, K-12 and Nonprofit Groups DVD + PPR
After graduating from NYU, Linn Harter worked for eight years as an assistant film editor on feature films and documentaries in Los Angeles. She was fortunate to work in the editing room with such noted directors as Robert M. Young, Francis Veber and Robert Redford. Upon moving to Montana, she worked at a local television station, making commercials and directing a live daily news show. Ever since studying documentary films with George C. Stoney at NYU, she has wanted to make her own documentary. HERE LIES MY HEART is her debut as an independent documentary filmmaker.