Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season 'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season MSNBC Decides: Touré Is Out, Rev. Al Stays (For Now) MSNBC Decides: Touré Is Out, Rev. Al Stays (For Now) Disney Channel & Disney XD Casting Directors Holding Online Casting Call for Diverse Actors, Age 10-17 Disney Channel & Disney XD Casting Directors Holding Online Casting Call for Diverse Actors, Age 10-17 Revisiting Spike Lee's Perplexing 'She Hate Me' on Its 11th Anniversary Revisiting Spike Lee's Perplexing 'She Hate Me' on Its 11th Anniversary Oprah Winfrey Presents Landmark 7-Night Event Series 'Belief' Premiering October 18 (Trailer) Oprah Winfrey Presents Landmark 7-Night Event Series 'Belief' Premiering October 18 (Trailer) Watch 5 Clips From TV One Original Movie 'Runaway Island' - Premieres This Saturday, July 25 Watch 5 Clips From TV One Original Movie 'Runaway Island' - Premieres This Saturday, July 25 Samira Wiley to Co-Star in Film Based on Kitty Genovese 1964 Murder Samira Wiley to Co-Star in Film Based on Kitty Genovese 1964 Murder MTV Has Made Its 'White People' Documentary Available Online - Watch It Here MTV Has Made Its 'White People' Documentary Available Online - Watch It Here MSNBC Is Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Rev. Al (Demote Him or Let Him Go?) MSNBC Is Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Rev. Al (Demote Him or Let Him Go?) LeBron James Inks "Unprecedented Agreement" with Warner Bros. Spanning Film, TV, Digital LeBron James Inks "Unprecedented Agreement" with Warner Bros. Spanning Film, TV, Digital "New Money, New Power" in 'Empire' Season 2 First Look Video Promo "New Money, New Power" in 'Empire' Season 2 First Look Video Promo Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Will World Premiere as the Closing Night Film at the 53rd New York Film Festival Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Will World Premiere as the Closing Night Film at the 53rd New York Film Festival What TV Critics Are Saying about MTV's 'White People' Documentary + Watch 3 Clips What TV Critics Are Saying about MTV's 'White People' Documentary + Watch 3 Clips Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

ADIFF 2012: Reflections On Alí Allié's & Ruben Reyes' Thoughtful, Enlightening 'Garifuna In Peril' (US Premiere Tonight!)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act December 2, 2012 at 2:45PM

ADIFF 2012: Reflections On Alí Allié's & Ruben Reyes' Thoughtful, Enlightening 'Garifuna In Peril' (US Premiere Tonight!)
2
Garifuna

The 20th annual African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF), here in New York City, is well underway, and continues through December 11th.

We'll continue to bring you reactions to screenings, interviews with talent, and other events on the festival's schedule - like this one on Garifuna in Peril, a feature film produced and directed by Alí Allié and Ruben Reyes, making its USA Premiere at the African Diaspora International Film Festival, TODAYDecember 2, at 5pm at Teachers CollegeColumbia University, 525 W. 120th Street.

The title, Garifuna in Peril, is suggestive enough, and should clue you in to what the the film's focus is - in short, the fight for the preservation of a culture (by those who are indigenous to it) that's practically on the brink of extinction.

The longer description reads:

The plot of the film follows a Garifuna language teacher, Ricardo, as he struggles to preserve his fading culture by building a language school back in his home village in Honduras. A business venture with his brother Miguel designed to raise money for the school’s construction becomes complicated by the expansion plans of a nearby tourist resort, prompting Ricardo to confront land rights issues in tandem with his educational mission. Family tensions heighten when Miguel waivers in the face of pressure from the resort, and Ricardo’s wife Becky objects to her daughter Helena’s new boyfriend Gabriel. Historical parallels to the contemporary land struggle are invoked as Ricardo’s son Elijah rehearses a stage play about Garifuna hero and Paramount Chief Joseph Satuyé and his last stand against British colonialism on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean over 200 years ago. The play was written by Bill Flores of the Garifuna Writers Group of Los Angeles.

A film on Satuyé's last stand against the British is one that deserves its own film, but, like the story of Toussaint L'Ouverture, likely not one that financiers are rushing to fund - although Phillipe Niang did eventually produce his Toussaint L'Ouverture film, after many years that saw other attempts struggle and fail. That film is also screening at the African Diaspora International Film Festival (the last screening of it is at 4:30pm today, at Black Spectrum in Queens).

And, by the way, Garifuna In Peril is said to be the first feature film with most of its dialogue in Garifuna.

Its message should be familiar - stressing the importance of land, language and overall culture to indigenous cultural identity. According to UN stats, there are somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000 languages spoken in the world today; most spoken by very few people; in fact, 97% of the world's population speaks just 4% of its languages, while the remaining 96% of languages are spoken by just 3% of the world's population - the majority of these 96% of languages, spoken by indigenous people, with most (roughly 90%) of them, in danger of becoming extinct over the next century.

Add to that the fact that indigenous people all over the world continue to experience loss of land and natural resources (in part because they've been excluded from the decision-making of the nations in which they live, and have been subjected to discrimination, as their cultures are seen as inferior, primitive, or irrelevant), and the result is that indigenous cultures (which includes languages) today are threatened with extinction in many parts of the world.

While some indigenous people are successfully maintaining or revitalising culture, many are fighting a losing battle, where languages/tradition/culture are unfortunately no longer passed from one generation to the next, after a great deal of traditional awareness has been undermined by colonizers and post-colonial governments who imposed their own worldviews on the indigenous people.

And with seemingly little governmental effort to reverse these trends, communities continuously struggle to survive.

The Garifuna people are descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people who live in the coastal regions of Central America and are considered indigenous to the Americas. This film, Garifuna In Peril, is part of their story.

Production values may not be high, however, while there most certainly is a narrative meant to *entertain*, the film serves more as an introduction/education for those who were previously unaware, and should encourage further research, as it did in my case, with self-enlightenment being the main intent/goal.

Also worth noting is that the film was shot, on location, in Los Angeles, CA and Triunfo de la Cruz, Honduras, and features a cast entirely of Honduran and Belizean actors, most who were acting for the very time - Ruben Reyes, Julian Castillo, Gloria Garnett, Jessica Alvarez, E.J. Mejia, Jr., Luis Martinez, Aubrey Wakeling, and Arleny Escobar.

The film will have its USA Premiere at the African Diaspora International Film Festival here in NYC, TODAY, December 2, at 5pm at Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 W. 120th Street.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the directors and a performance by the NYC Garifuna Dance Ensemble, co-hosted by the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.

For tickets click HERE.

Also, be sure to check out the rest of the festival's lineup as well, by clicking HERE.

Trailer below:


Shadow & ActNewsletter