Link of the Day 073108: 2 Documentaries on Guatemala

Voice of a Mountain

Duration: 4 min 9 sec

You can watch the full film on their site or on youtube.

Voice of a Mountain is a video documentary of the lives of rural Guatemalan coffee farmers [in Santa Anita La Union, a small village in the Quetzaltenango region] who took up arms against their government in a civil war that lasted 36 years. This documentary explores Guatemala’s dark history from the perspective of those who saw armed revolution as their only hope for change in a poverty-ridden nation under years of military dictatorship. Ex-combatants talk about the bleak reality of the country that led to their involvement in the war, and the response of genocide from the Guatemalan government against its people. The documentary gives insight into their motives for joining an armed conflict as interviews reveal personal accounts of struggle, hope, tragedy, and the fruits of their resistance.


Duration: 4min 40sec

First part of this video is in Spanish and then he translates into English.

In his film, “Documigrante,” Willy Barreno shows what [Guatemalan] migrants go through to get [to the United States].

Starting in Santa Anita, Barreno filmed the journey into Mexico, where Central American migrants hop freight trains in the southern state of Chiapas and endure robberies and rape at the hands of smugglers and Mexican police. The film then tracks the journey north, across the U.S. border and into the Midwest.

Barreno, a Guatemalan native, said he was overwhelmed by the grief of those he met—Hondurans sniffing glue in Central Mexico to stave off hunger and the human-rights worker who recounted how a woman had accidentally suffocated her crying baby while hiding inside a truck trailer from U.S. customs agents.

This reminds me of the last episode of M.A.S.H. where a mother suffocates her child to save her herself and other refugees from being killed by enemy soldiers. Life imitates art imitates life. 😦

via Chicago Tribune [Struggling toward the future]

Related Posts:
Mayan Territory [], plus photos from the shoot
BBtv World: El Molinero, Guatemala [Video]
A Recycled Life [Film]
Communities We Work With: La Florida (Guatemala)
Video: Illegal evictions in Guatemala Jan 2007 (YouTube)