I think of this film as one that led me very precisely through its composition. First, I was fascinated during the winter and spring in the “city of the dead” — Graceland — the graveyard containing magnificent, monumental, and some whimsical tombs, as final resting real estate for significant and wealthy Chicago families. Then I thought if I could really see closely with my lens, the surface of the skin of the human body, the barrier between the outside world and the living body; that I could touch the knowledge of what was inside, and unseeable. Of course I only met up with its limits. The next winter, I returned to Chaco Canyon, the ancient pueblos of the Anasazi (ancesters of the contemporary Hope people). I filmed all day in the kivas. It had snowed, so I could not get out on the dirt roads, and was forced to spend the night there, in my car. I woke up suddenly, anxious, in the light of the full moon, to see a large black cat, like a panther, moving down the cliff, and coming directly toward me. He passed within five feet of me, and then moved away, toward the kivas. The next day, I read that Anasazi records speak of a race of black panthers, held sacred, and native to the area, but which have now been extinct for centuries.

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