Friday, January 28, 2011

Cine Campesino (2002)


By David Ashby

On October 17, 18 and 19, 2002, the Un Mundo organization presented a rural "Cinema Campesino Film Festival" in the village of El Pital, in the Cangrejal river valley (half an hour south from La Ceiba, Honduras). The festival used Latin American films and dialogue to celebrate the beautiful yet difficult life of the Campesino. People were bussed in or walked to the festival from the remote neighbouring villages of Urraco, Toncontin, Yaruca, Rio Viejo and La Muralla.


The festival purpose was threefold:
1. A fundraiser to purchase a used bus to transport students at the local high school.
2. An exercise for the local villages in carrying out a cooperative community event.

3. A forum for public dialog about local problems and social issues. 

An estimated 500 people attended the Cinema Campesino Film Festival under the stars each night.


The renowned Bethel High School Marching Band kicked off the event. 


Local singers and dancers performed during the three nights of the festival.

Brisk sales of food and drink by local villagers were part of the fund-raising activities, and high school students also solicited donations from festival participants. Nearly all the equipment used to produce this first Film Festival were donated by sponsors, including the sound system, lights, rain shelters, camera and movie projection equipment.


Cartoon videos and movies shown in the local high school kept the youngsters entertained. 


Each night, dolls and other toys were given to the village kids attending the festival.

Un Mundo plans to repeat the Cinema Campesino Film Festival throughout rural Honduras. Un Mundo is also working to establish a Cine Campesino Film and Video Institute on the north coast of Honduras, with objectives of imparting to youth throughout Honduras an understanding of filmmaking and the filmmaking industry, promoting social change through film, and fostering a national film industry. If you would like to become a founding contributor of the Cine Campesino Film and Video Institute, email arteaccioncopan@yahoo.com.

The shown films came from Cuba, Argentina, and Honduras. The Last Supper depicted the inner turmoil of slaves asserting their independence at a Dominican Republic sugar plantation in the 19th century. The Hour of the Furnaces was a cold, hard examination of the causes and effects of underdevelopment in Latin America. Hurricane Mitch focused on the debilitating external debt exposed by this natural phenomena, while A Place in the World was a sweet story of the triumph and tribulations of a father and son, as the former overcomes resistance while starting a cooperative in his native village and the latter tries to teach his female companion how to read.