Quick Note: Interview with Alex Mar

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  April 13, 2010 — 16 Comments

Yesterday, The Tribeca Film Festival’s ‘Faces of the Festival’ interview series focused on Alex Mar, director of the new documentary “American Mystic”. The film, which features Pagan priestess Morpheus Ravenna, looks at alternative forms of religion and spirituality in America from three different perspectives, and is one of twelve entries in the festival’s World Documentary Feature Competition for 2010. In the interview, Mar discusses the history of the project, her search for documentary subjects, and the difficulties in finding a modern Pagan practitioner to participate.

“I met with different covens in different parts of the country, and one of the challenges with the pagan element in the film is I needed to find someone brave enough to say, okay, not only am I a witch, and to say that on camera, but I have this coven, I have this group that I practice with, and everyone associated with her had to be brave enough to say, okay, we’re comfortable with this.

In California and maybe in New York, it doesn’t sound like that big of a deal to say that you’re pagan, but obviously being a witch is a big deal in this country. I met with a woman who I thought was so wonderful in Tennessee, and she would have loved to have shared her story but she was terrified. You know, she had seen people lose their jobs, and actually had a friend whose children were taking away from her through child welfare… It was really, I think, all told, six months of going around the country.”


Alex Mar

Mar’s obvious sympathy for her subjects, and her willingness to view the world from their perspective, makes me very hopeful that this will be one of the best documentary treatments of modern Paganism by an outsider. I look forward to the opportunity to see this film, and I wish it every success at the Tribeca festival. I urge you to read the entire interview, and if you’re in New York, to go see the documentary.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • http://blog.dianarajchel.com Diana

    If you comment on the Youtube video over on Youtube, that will get read by the people who might pick this up – the more comments along that line, the better. Also, a Facebook fan page definitely gets taken into account by distributors – it’s how Viacom finally decided to release Daria on DVD, for example.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ailaes Meagan McMichael

    No wonder it didn't come up in my search. Thanks.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    What’s with this new comment format? No replies? No email notification? If this is a permanent change and not a glitch it’ll gut the discussions on Wild Hunt.

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      Oops, back to normal format. Jason, what was going on?

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/thewildhunt Jason Pitzl-Waters

        Probably just a hiccup on Intense Debate's end.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/TeNosce TeNosce

    Wow, her eyes are stunning. I wish I had something smart to say here, but I'm entranced. :)

  • leea

    still don’t see any reply buttons on here, and there’s a pound sign before everyone’s name-maybe intense debate needs some pepto-bismol??

    Agree with everyone else, this sounds like such a great show, I hope I get to see it too!! and Kudo’s to the brave coven who allowed themselves to be filmed!!

  • sravana

    There's the book "Paganism" by the Higginbothams that I like. It's not really a text, more of an experiential exploration of the subject.

  • Phoebe

    Looks fantastic! I'll tell my video guy to order it, I bet he will.

  • JRob

    She should have come to Minneapolis. There are lots of us out of the broom closet here.

    • http://twitter.com/magickalrealism @magickalrealism

      And a bunch of us that aren't broom closet at all. Hi neighbor!

  • Matt Gerlach

    Ditto from Ohio!

  • Ursyl

    If we get lucky, PBS will pick this up for Independent Lens or POV.

    Probably the only way I'll get to see it, unless Netflix cooperates.

  • Vision From Afar

    As someone living in northern AL, here's hoping Netflix picks up this doc., because I'd love a chance to watch it!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Crystal7431 Crystal7431

    Ooh, I forgot about Independent Lens. I'll keep my fingers crossed for that one.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Crystal7431 Crystal7431

    I really can't wait to see this. I hope I'll be able to get it from Amazon later down the road.