A joint venture between photographer-videographer Zahara Gómez Lucini and writer Annelise Jolley, “A Feast for Lost Souls” is a gorgeous magazine feature interwoven with three short documentaries. Each video is a vivid, intimate profile of a woman in Las Rastreadoras del Fuerte (The Trackers of El Fuerte), a group of women leading the charge to find the bodies of forcibly disappeared individuals in Mexico’s Sinaloa state. Las Rastreadoras are part of a long legacy of women being at the forefront of campaigns to find Mexico’s missing. But their twice-weekly searches for bodies, using shovels, spades, and construction rods, isn’t the dominant theme of the videos. Viewers are instead invited into each subject’s daily life and ultimately into her home kitchen, a sanctuary where she cooks a humble dish with enormous meaning: the favorite food of a loved one who was been disappeared. The videos are ordered within the written story with careful attention to narrative impact, culminating in the wrenching decision by one of the subjects to move a blue cup from the place her husband left it the day he vanished. The documentaries are quiet, artful, and watchful, and they are essential to the shape, rhythm, and intention of the wider project.
The judges were moved by this story of life, loss and grief. ‘A Feast for Lost Souls’ weaved together video, photography and text into a multimedia masterpiece that was greater than the sum of its parts, pushing the storytelling forward in innovative ways.