The Blessings of the Mystery is a labyrinth of stories across Far West Texas’ environmental memories.
Radically combining collaborative and experimental documentary with harrowing oral histories, dramatized reenactments, archival research, and 16mm found footage; the film presents an extraordinary account of the region’s ongoing troubled histories of colonization, migration and ecological precarity.
The film storylines revolve around three regional contested sites where both indigenous and settler knowledges have been historically produced: the McDonald Observatory in Presidio County, the Amistad Dam on the Rio Grande, and the Permian Basin oil and gas fields. The film’s narrative is structured around a series of dichotomies and conflicting visions that stem out of these sites, such as the relation amid light and darkness, the above surface and the underworld, and the contrast between flow and containment. The tracing of these connections, and the voices, stories, and actions of stakeholders are weaved together along the film, offering viewers an emotive and resilient understanding of the region’s ecological, cultural, and industrial history.