Film Festival Today

Founded by Jeremy Taylor

Indigenous Films at HFFNY 2011!

Written by: FFT Webmaster | March 30th, 2011

HFFNY 2011 Banner

This year, HFFNY is showcasing a variety of films by indigenous filmmakers and about indigenous populations in Latin American countries, some of which have never been viewed in the U.S. before. These films provide a unique opportunity to explore other cultures and look at life from another perspective.

(Newen Mapuche: The Force of the People from the Land)

Newen MapucheDir. Elena Varela, Chile
U.S. Premiere!
Quad Cinema

Saturday, April 9, 3:00 pm, 124 min.
Q&A with director

The documentary recounts the story of the Mapuche people, an indigenous community from the south of Chile. The film tells the story of their struggle to reclaim their land and the consequences of the repressive policies applied by the Chilean State. Within this setting of conflict and after the murder of Alex Lemun, a young Mapuche, the filmmaker Elena Varela embarks on an investigational journey with one purpose: to tell the story of the last 10 years of the struggle of the Mapuche community. The police detain Elena and confiscate her film material. The filmmaker, now living through political persecution herself, narrates the story from her experience.

(Heart of Time)
Corazon del tiempo

Dir. Alberto Cortes, Mexico
NY premiere!
Quad Cinema
– Friday, April 8, 4:45 pm, 90 min.
Quad Cinema
– Thursday, April 14, 4:45 pm, 90 min.

During the time of revolution in La Esperanza de San Pedro, Chiapas, amid the Zapatista struggle, Sonia’s rebellious heart causes further commotion in her village. Recently betrothed to a young community leader, she walks along the rainforest and locks eyes with those of Julio, a rebel fighter. Their passion puts the security of her community and the Zapatista rebels in jeopardy. In a world where everything changes and in a land of free Indians who have decided to take a stand and resist, Sonia takes on the struggles of love in the heart of time.

(Stolen Land)
Robatierra Dir. Margarita Martinez & Miguel Salazar, Colombia
NY Premiere!
Quad Cinema
– Friday, April 8, 3:00 pm, 73 min.
Quad Cinema
– Thursday, April 14, 6:30 pm, 73 min.

In a land where people have known nothing but war, a tightly knit and fiercely proud people, the Nasa, fight for the land stolen from their ancestors while fending off the violence encroaching on their nation. Their charismatic leader is Lucho Acosta, 39, an imposing tactician descended from Indian warriors. He knows from experience that violence only breeds more violence. But facing nearly insurmountable odds, Lucho’s beliefs are tested to their very core. The future of the Nasa hangs in the balance.

IxquicDir. Cesar Manuel Leon Osorio, Guatemala
U.S. premiere!
Museum of the Moving Image
– Friday, April 8, 7:00 pm, 5 min.
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, NYU
– Wednesday, April 13, 6:00 pm, 5 min.

Ixquic, a 12-year-old girl from the Quiche area, is placed in a Catholic school. While there, she suffers the abuses of the cultural and religious constraints of the educational system. Things change when Ixquic decides to express her Mayan faith at the time of her baptism. For this insult, she is punished and locked up but with her spirit and independence inspires her friends to renounce the robbing of her identity.

(The Wash House)
La Pila Dir. Fernando Martinez, Guatemala
U.S. premiere!
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, NYU

Wednesday, April 13, 6:00 pm, 9 min.

This short film shows that the public washhouse is not just a utilitarian item, but also a symbol of Guatemalan culture. In the everyday conversations of a group of women around the washhouse in a small rural village, Tencha, Juana, and Cristina discover that their lives are connected by a lie.

(Mi Sueno/My Dream)Ri Wachik Dir. Berta Lidia Chirix, Guatemala
U.S. premiere!
Quad Cinema
– Friday, April 8, 4:45 pm, 9 min.
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, NYU
– Wednesday, April 13, 6:00 pm, 9 min.

Jacinta is a seven-year-old MayaKaqchikel indigenous girl from the interior of Guatemala who comes from a poor family of farmers and craftsmen. Her dream is to learn to make shoes, but her environment enforces gender restrictions, ones in which girls are to stick to housework.

(Voladora: A Flying Woman)

Voladora Dir. Chloe Campero, Mexico
U.S. premiere!
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, NYU

Wednesday, April 13, 6:00 pm, 11 min.

The documentary is an intimate portrait of Viviana Guerrero, a voladora, or “flying woman,” dancer from Zozocolco de Hidalgo, Veracruz (Mexico), who at 17 yearls old realized her childhood dream of becoming a voladora. The film is also a window into the communities of the Veracruz mountains and their mysticism, festivities, rituals, and illusions.

(The Crying of the Earth)

El llanto de la tierra Dir. Lucio Olmos, Mexico
U.S. premiere!
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, NYU

Wednesday, April 13, 6:00 pm, 8 min.


The film shows the damage people have done to the environment with their consumptive lifestyles and how the Totonac people respect their environment and natural resources, which are sacred to them.


The FFT Webmaster account displays articles from old versions of Film Festival Today. The original author byline might be missing! If you are the author of this article please send us an email. Some of our contributors that might be missing bylines are: Brad Balfour, Laura Blum, Sandy Mandelberger among others.

Other posts by
Posted in: Festivals

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *