“Maya Faces in a Smoking Mirror”
“Maya Faces in a Smoking Mirror” is a 76 minute documentary about young adult Mayas from Chiapas, Mexico struggling against the culture of commodification of all that threatens to engulf them. Women and men, from weavers and workers of milpas to rock stars and doctoral candidates, tell their stories about working to preserve their culture or reestablish their connection to it, in spite of the smoke of the dominant culture that seeks to obscure their reflections. Kixtup, a young Chuj man born in a refugee camp in Mexico where his parents fled the Guatemalan massacres of the 80s, struggles to recover the Chuj cosmovision in spite of physical and temporal separation. All speak of one form or another of resistance to super exploitation of the earth, themselves, and others like them.
Their stories are framed by an account of the successful campaign against the government attempt to build in Chenalhó, Chiapas, a “Rural City”, a kind of modern version of the colonial “reductions”.
Bill Jungels, Producer/Director, has been making documentaries in Latin America since the 1980s and in Chiapas since 2005. He has made documentaries about immigration and the Tsotsil Maya family and about urban workers in the Maquiladoras. Christine Eber, Producer, is an anthropologist with over three decades of work in Chiapas.