Friday, January 28, 2011

Naturalezas en Conflicto, Cine Campesino (2004)

Cine Campesino is a collective committed to bringing Latin American films to rural areas, where viewing films is limited to Hollywood action films in English with Spanish subtitles that audiences cannot read. The first project of the collective was to complement the work of the Un Mundo, the NGO that sponsored Cine Campesino, by developing a space for conflict resolution through the exhibition of films. Cine Campesino and Un Mundo organized the first traveling film festival in the region, hiring school buses to transport hundred of campesinos to the soccer field were we projected the films. Later that week, members of the collective led video production workshops with students teaching them how to produce their first films. This event was part of the collective's first documentary Cine Campesino (2002). Natures in Conflict (2004) the second documentary, questions the tourist’s gaze at the Honduran jungle, and shows how campesinos (rural subsistence farmers) have sometimes “destroyed” their environment to provide their families with the means of survival. 

Cine Campesino: A Documentary Film (2002)

Production and screenplay: Tomas F. Crowder-Taraborrelli

Cine Campesino is a Travelling film festival that has done over 110 film festivals in rural Honduras. It was first organized in 2002, in a small town called El Pital. This documentary was made of that event. In 2003 Ronald Reinds made it possible that Cine Campesino became mobile.

Cine Campesino is a project set up by Un Mundo, a small NGO that operates in the valley of the river Cangrejal on the north coast of Honduras. It initated with a film festival in 2002 that lasted 3 days. After the second edition, Cine Campesino underwent a large change and got mobile and started giving free film festivals in rural Honduran comunities. Cine Campesino left Un Mundo during the course of 2004 to join Arte Acción Copán Ruinas.

Cine Campesino:  video installation
Cine Campesino shows Spanish spoken Latin American movies with social themes primarily in mountain villages in Honduras that have no access to electricity, cable or a video store. This means that some 90% of villages would be eligible for a Cine Campesino Film Festival. The way these are done is as follows; we make contact with a local or a Peace Corps Volunteer who has a cell phone or who can use the internet, we discuss a date that suits us both, we send them the folder "How to organize a Film Festival in YOUR Comunity" and then we have night of cine!

Four years and 111 film festivals later, we have completed a documentaty on people who have never seen a movie before in their lives. This is a homage to Por Primera Vez, a Cuban documentary from 1967 with the same theme. The documentary has been shown on the Noordelijk Film Festival and the Sidney Latin American Film Festival and will be screened on a number of other film festivals throughout the world; most notably the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the International Documantary Film Festival Amsterdam.

Cine Campesino is still on the road, run by Hondurans but without proper wheels. A documentary made by Arte Acción Copán Ruinason the cultural remains of the Maya comunity in the Copán region is now shown in every town Cine Campesino visits. Here´s a a few images of a screening in Nueva Esperanza, Copán. If you want to volunteer for Cine Campesino, you need to have an Audiovisual background and speak some Spanish.

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

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.

Cine Campesino (2003)

In September 2003 Un Mundo presented the second "Cinema Campesino Film Festival" in the village of El Pital. The festival used a Latin American film and dialogue to demonstrate the life of the Latin American.
An estimated 300 people attended the festival under the stars that night. Sales of food and drink by local villagers were part of the fundraising activities and proceeds from the festival went to local educational institutions.
The festival provided a forum for public dialog about local problems and social issues, and two documentaries were made from the events; one dealing with the monopolistic grip of the North American film industry in Latin American film distribution, and another with how conceptions of nature in the area are culturally constructed.
The movies shown were, a documentary shot during the first film festival and “La Cuidad” this last film deals with the difficult live illegal immigrants could have in the United States. The film is segmented in 4 twenty minute stories with Latin Americans in a nameless role. It is clear that it could be anybody.

Jorge Sanjinés y el cine documental

En el mundo entero, no sólo en Bolivia, hay una inquietud en la gente joven frente a los terribles desafíos que se nos van presentando a la humanidad entera. Entonces la idea de cambiar las estructuras de dominación capitalistas, que están acabando con el medio ambiente, con el planeta, hacen que se haga un cine documental que está teniendo una enorme importancia en el mundo.