Reset your balance with nature and discover the Earth-healing wisom of the last Incas in Peru
“This project was born from a place of deep anxiety regarding our future in the face of climate change,” says director, cinematographer and editor Jeff Mertz, whose film captures the indigenous communities at threat from failing crops and extreme weather in the Peruvian Andes. “I came to these people, who are nestled in straw-built mountaintop huts, sparse villages and city slums, with a naive and romanticized expectation that their animism could heal the anxiety built from the failings of Western science and politics to provide hope in the face of unfathomable change.”
“The film reveals a plea from these people to be seen, heard, and believed in; to trust in the power of intention and the ultimate resiliency of nature”
The Q’ero people featured in this film are a Quechua-speaking community commonly regarded as the last, direct descendants of the Incas. They believe in the intrinsic interconnection between all things and the sanctity of Mother Earth—Pachamama. Across the Hummingbird Bridge documents how these rural communities have become profligate consumers of Western ideals in the form of disposable goods, processed foods and a fixation with wealth creation. According to the last Q’ero traditionalists, this change in culture has created a chasm between the people and the land.
“They are a practical people whose spiritual and agrarian lifestyle has gone largely unchanged since Incan times,” says Mertz. “They exist by the mean fruits of their labor and wisdom, subsisting on donations from visiting tourists and government tithes; and are thus one of the most vulnerable cultures on the planet.”
The title refers to the hummingbird bridge described by anthropologist and paqo, or healer, Americo Yabar as the bridge from the materialistic model of Western attitudes to the metaphysical immediacy of the Q’ero tradition.
“The film reveals a plea from these people to be seen, heard, and believed in; to trust in the power of intention and the ultimate resiliency of nature,” says Mertz. “I sought out to make a film consisting of worldly advice from people tied to the Earth on how best to heal our relationship with it; instead the paqos gave me their own epitaph, a testimony to the power of belief.”