Reuniting with the dead

Mary Knuckles , Staff Writer

FMU’s Department of Modern Languages showed the film “Coco” on Oct. 30 at 3:35 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Lowrimore Auditorium in the Cauthen Educational Media Center (CEMC).

“Coco” is an award-winning movie that centers on the Hispanic holiday, Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. It is the story of a boy named Miguel, who has a love for music and wants to be a musician. When he attempts to steal a guitar to compete in a competition, he is pulled into the land of the dead, where he is forced on an adventure to find his way back home. Along the way, he figures out why his family is a group of shoemakers who hate music; and in the end convinces them that music isn’t evil like they have believed for the past few generations.

Sophomore Jarod Morgan attended the second showing and said he enjoyed the film and had the songs stuck in his head for a few days.

“When I first saw it, the twist was very shocking near the end,” Morgan said. “I won’t say any spoilers, but I love how Miguel really finds his family, like the importance of it. He also really gets to succeed in the passion he has, rather than giving it up.”

The Day of the Dead is a celebration of loved ones who have passed away in Latin culture. It is not a day of grief but rather a day of joy where the lives of those who have died are celebrated.

Junior Charday Sparks attended the event to receive extra credit in her Spanish class.

“Even though horrible things happen, in the Hispanic culture, they always seem to find a way to celebrate,” Sparks said. “Family and celebratory things are big parts of their traditions.”

Morgan said prior to the movie he had a general concept about the celebration but the movie taught him about several new things, such as ofrendas, which are shrines that are dedicated to loved ones who have passed away. Ofrendas are built so that the spirits of the deceased can find their way back to the land of the living.

“This film has presented The Day of The Dead in a factual but easy to digest kind of way,” Morgan said. “I did not feel as if I was being overwhelmed with information I generally knew the concept of them honoring family members and they came to celebrate them, but I didn’t know about the ofrendas, marigolds or any of the real historical aspects like honoring them with the shrine and everything they loved in their lifetime. It was very cool to see that.”