The systematic repression of indigenous peoples of Guatemala led to a bloody armed conflict from 1960 to 1996 that left behind more than 200,000 dead, most of whom were Maya. In an environment of fear and threats, the photographer Miquel Dewever-Plana documented the exhumation process and gathered testimonies of numerous victims. Years later, he returns to the Mayan communities to bring his book to those who had shared their stories.
Life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota is told through a single summer with two reservation families. The families attend rodeos and participate in Pow Wows; get married, celebrate new arrivals and the 4th of July but the dark cloud of modern reservation life shadows their world. Taking cues from filmmakers like Frederick Wiseman, Oyate aims to embed the viewer into a world far from their own guided by this gentle representation of space, place and people
Set within the rainforests of southern Mexico, La Laguna tells the story of a Mayan boy’s remarkable journey from childhood to adolescence. While Yu’uk and his younger brother José enjoy a childhood of uncommon freedom in the jungle, the family must move on. Problems begin to mount and leaving their village and Yu’uk, along with his beloved little brother, may be their family’s only hope.
With rare access to nomadic family living, the film reveals the unprecedented environmental and sociopolitical forces these people are facing. Living on the vast yet rapidly degrading grasslands on the high plateau of eastern Tibet, this story is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit. Richly observed daily lives and family relationships become both deeply personal and illustrative of the evolutionary issues of gender and freedom as the Nomads, the Drokpa, are forced to adapt to a changing climate.
Far east in the Himalayan border of India and China lives the tribal Adi people, a beautiful and unique culture. China now reasserts its territorial claim to the Indian state which holds the land of the Adis. Will the Adis remain Indian? Will their tribal language and culture survive? The resilience of this unique tribe is revealed amidst a confluence of issues related to their land, water and identity.
“Clan” is the story of James Saunders, an Australian Aboriginal gay man. James goes to boarding school on a scholarship where he realizes that he is different. After he graduates, he is rejected by his father and stepfather and left on his own. Struggling with depression and suicide, James decides to come out. He finds a new family with a gay rugby team, the Convicts, and with them goes on to win two rugby world cups.
Filmed with a 1924 hand-crank Cine-Kodak camera, Shaman Trail Scout “Coyote” takes a journey which transcends time, from Inwood Park (where the island was traded for beads and booze), down a native trail (now “Broadway”), into lower Manhattan (sacred burial ground, now including the newest natives of this island empire).
Oil on Ice examines the battle over oil development within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This classic struggle features the dramatic wildlife that adapted to this environment and the cultures of the Gwich’in Athabascan Indians and Inupiat Eskimos that rely on this wildlife for their subsistence. The issue of oil extraction from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge brings into sharp focus the broader debate over energy conservation versus unbridled consumption.