Clouds pass before the sun and away again while a gentle voice speaking in the splendid tones of the Mayan language explains how the Earth came to be. There were no humans or animals; there was only sky. According to the ancient Maya, this great cycle of their calendar will end in 2012. But for the source of the world's demise, there is no need to look to the esoteric. The remote homelands of some nine million present-day Maya in Chiapas and Guatemala present a perfect microcosm for witnessing how greed is already ravaging the earth and indigenous cultures. With stunning imagery, six young Maya present their daily and ceremonial life, revealing their determination to resist the destruction of their environment, their rainforests and their native corn. One salient example is the huge open pit in Guatemala, where the largest gold mine in Central America has recently been dug. The earth has been stripped and laid bare for the grabbing hands of a Canadian multinational. The Maya suspect the red lumps on their children's skin are caused by cyanide from the mine. They are now in such dire straits that, while some keep silent out of fear for their lives, others are mobilizing. Their cosmo-vision, in which all life is sacred and interconnected, presents a deeply compelling alternative to the prevailing world view.
Frauke Sandig, Eric Black
Frauke Sandig for Umbrella Films, Eric Black for Umbrella Films