The Sixth Sun: Mayan Uprising in Chiapas
Saul Landau's 57-minute documentary about the Zapatistas in Mexico, "The Sixth Sun: Mayan Uprising in Chiapas," will be shown at the Hippodrome Cinema, on Monday, September 21 at 7 and 8:30 p.m. $3-5 sliding scale admission benefits the Gainesville Committee for Democracy in Mexico and the Gainesville Iguana.
Landau is a senior fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. He has made more than 40 films, among them "Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang" and "Fidel." His works have earned him an Emmy, a George Polk Memorial Journalism Award for investigative journalism and a First Amendment Award. He has also written several books.
His latest movie is a stunning portrayal of the Mayan struggle to survive the lack of justice and democracy in Mexico. The "Sixth Sun" shows how the Indian population is trying to maintain its culture in the face of progress and greedy landowners.
"Our goal in the film was to show through images and sounds the origin and nature of this Indian rebellion that ended the false image of Mexico as a highly developed democracy," says Landau. "Our film also shows how in this remote area of Mexico we see the consequences of the globalization process."
Economic globalization as represented in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Landau believes, is posing a threat to the existence of the Mayan culture, which is based on communal ownership of land. In an effort to encourage trade with the United States, former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari repealed a law in 1992 that would have guaranteed the future of communal property. "Without communal ownership of land, there is no identity, to say nothing of livelihood," Landau explains.
The documentary presents in depth interviews with Subcommandante Marcos, a conservative Catholic landowner, three rebel leaders and outspoken Bishop Samuel Ruiz, who served as mediator between the peasants and the government.
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