JustUS is a 25 minute documentary film produced by Touch Point Productions documenting the existential struggle of the Mestizo culture of Northern New Mexico. They are Hispanic by way of the Spanish Colonizers who settled around Ohkay Owingeh in 1598. This caused conflicts with the Indengious Peoples, many Pueblo tribes. After years of oppression there was an uprising in 1680 and most of the priests were killed. The remaining Hispanics formed a lay ministry that operates today known as the Penetentes. From the beginning the colonizers took Indian women as their wives sometimes forcibly. Today most of the people have Spanish surnames and speak Spanish though many Pueblos live on reservations and identify as Catholic speaking a mix of Pueblo, Spanish and English. Needless to say, the collision of cultures and the annexation of New Mexico by the United States has been one in which many of these people have suffered historic traumas. Add to this the lowest educational achievement and worst educational system, poverty, and the influx of drug related gangs financed by Mexican Cartels and we see the widespread eradication of a unique culture.
JustUs documents the suffering of a group of people that are trying to use every spiritual tool in their power to correct the economic and social dissolution of years of government neglect. There are no jobs, no job training centers, nor even a detox center where people can find a way out of the death spiral. Pedro and his small cadre of people struggle to assist people in the grieving process and try by every means available to them to give comfort to their people. In the end Pedro knowing that addiction is a spiritual disease surrenders to the situation and realizes that help from the government is not coming and only his own desire for a spiritual reconciliation and a connection with his culture will deliver the justice that his people are seeking. We are sincerely grateful for the participation of Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM Center for Action and Contemplation in this documentary.