Filmmaker Katrina Browne talked with Sojourners associate editor Molly Marsh about the impetus behind Traces of the Trade.
How have you experienced this work as a “calling?”
I was in seminary when my grandmother sent all of us grandkids the booklet summarizing our family history, and I had the time and space to really take it in. There was a Day of the Dead ritual being created at my school, the Pacific School of Religion, and we were invited to create altars for ancestors and to put them up in conjunction with the service. I thought, “How would I build an altar to my ancestors now that I’ve relearned this history?” I took this on as an invitation to really delve in—that was the beginning of peeling away the layers within my own heart, mind, and spirit. I would call it a “calling” in the sense that once I made the decision to make the film, I got so much confirmation from the universe. I experienced a much larger force at work than my own will and my own self. I kept getting signs from God ... that this was the right path for me and that this could be a vehicle for some healing and reconciliation work. Every time I wanted to quit, it was certainly faith and being part of faith communities that kept me going.
Describe one of your best moments.