UC Berkeley Library

Central America

1932, Cicatriz de la Memoria (Scars of Memory)

In 1932 the army and "citizen militias" in El Salvador brutally crushed an uprising of peasants in western El Salvador, killing 10,000 people. Survivors share their harrowing memories, many for the first time. The trauma resonated through six decades of military rule, until the 1992 peace accords ended a brutal, 12-year civil war. This documentary is based on 200 interviews with survivors and on archival research in El Salvador, Great Britain and the United States. 53 min.

A Massacre Foretold

Chronicles the historic events surrounding the 1997 massacre of 45 pacifist supporters of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation who were murdered while seeking refuge in a church. Also looks at the 1994 emergence of the Zapatistas, the Mexican army's attacks on rural peasant communities -- involving destruction of homes, forced displacement of entire communities, and "disappearances" and murders meant to terrorize the indigenous population -- and government "negotiations" with the Zapatistas. Directed & produced by Nick Higgins. 2007. 58 min.

A Massacre Remembered.

Tells the story of Jesus Tecu Osorio, one of the few survivors of the Rio Negro Massacre that took place in Guatemala on March 13, 1982. After witnessing the massacre of more than one hundred children and nearly eighty women by members of the Guatemalan army and civil patrols, Jesus and seventeen other children were taken to work as servants in the houses of the patrollers who killed their families. Jesus lived in captivity for three years until freed by his only surviving sister. A production of the Witness Project which uses video technology to investigate human rights abuses.

A Place Called Chiapas: A Film

In 1994 the Zapatista National Liberation Army, made up of impoverished Maya Indians, took over five towns and 500 ranches in southern Mexico. Fighting for indigenous Mexicans to regain control over their lives and the land, the Zapatista Army, led by Subcommandante Marcos, started sending their message to the world via the Internet. The result was what the New York Times called "the world's first post-modern revolution." Here the filmmaker, who traveled to the jungle canyons of Southern Mexico to cover the uprising, effectively captures the human dimensions behind the war.

A Railroad to Utopia

Explores, using time-lapse and animation techniques as well as archival drawings and photographs, a utopian colony established in Topolobampo in Northern Mexico by American Socialist pioneers, Albert Kimsey Owen and others, in 1886. The writings of Clarissa Kneeland are incorporated in the film. Directed by Gregorio Rocha. Dist. Subcine. 1995. 30 min.

A Right to Justice.

Follows the struggle of the indigenous Maya Achi people of Guatemala to learn the truth of the Rio Negro genocide that took place on March 13, 1982. Includes footage of the recent trial of a few of the perpetrators and details recent efforts to document the atrocities and to secure justice through the prosecution of those responsible. A production of the Witness Project which uses video technology to investigate human rights abuses. Dist.:Witness Project. 2001. 10 min.

A Skirt Full of Butterflies.

A film by Ellen Osborne, Maureen Gosling. In this film we hear from five women whose stories are interlaced with scenes of work and the resplendent festivities, music, poetry and paintings of the region. They show how valuable economic independence, community, friendship, cultural pride and respect for 'women's work' are in giving a woman self-esteem and a sense of purpose in life. c1993. 15 min.

Adelina

Adelina, presidenta: This documentary looks at the challenges Adelina Rasgado Escobar faced during her three years in office as presidenta municipal of Asuncion Ixtaltepec, in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca (1999-2001) Contents: Encrucijada = Crossroads (2002, 4 min.) -- Adelina, presidenta = Adelina, president (2003, 30 min.) Directed by Julia Barco. 30 min.

Aguas Sagradas: Exploracion de Cenotes y Rios Subterraneos en el Mundo Maya (Sacred Waters: An Exploration by Subterranean Rivers and Caverns in the Mayan World).

An exploration by subterranean rivers and caverns; a fantastic and enigmatic trip where natural treasures and the vestiges of the ancient Mayas lie. In this program a group of speleologists dive down to incredible depths through the cenotes that were ritual centers of the ancient inhabitants and also unique sources of water in this dry and arid region, where one of the greatest cultures of ancient times flourished. In Spanish with English subtitles. [1994?]. 60 min.

Alsino y el Condor (Alsino and the Condor)

Set in Nicaragua, this film depicts the clash between Central American governments and Sandinista rebels. It is the story of a boy's dream of flying above the madness of the world around him. 1986. 89 min.

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