GARIFUNA IN PERIL – GARIFUNA HERITAGE CELEBRATION
Sunday, December 2 @ 5PM - Teachers College, Cowin Center
Directed by Ali Allie & Ruben Reyes, 2012, 100mins
The film is based on a Garifuna language teacher, who, struggles to preserve his endangered Afro-Amerindian culture by building a language school back in his home village in Honduras, Central America. A business venture with his brother designed to raise money for the school’s construction becomes complicated by the expansion plans of a nearby tourist resort into indigenous territory.
Historical parallels are invoked as Ricardo’s son rehearses a stage play about the Garifuna people’s last stand against British colonialism over 200 years ago in their motherland, the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean.
Naturalistically shot, with debut performances by nearly the entire cast, Garifuna in Peril makes its own history as the first feature film with the majority of dialogue in Garifuna, a language proclaimed by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
Q&A session with director to follow the screening and a cultural presentation by the NYC Garifuna Dance Ensemble. Evening will end with a reception
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Alí Allié is an independent filmmaker and cinematographer living in Los Angeles, California. He is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts and previously produced and directed the first dramatic feature film relating to Garifuna culture and spirituality, “El Espíritu de mi Mamá” (Spirit of my Mother) which won awards at film festivals worldwide and is in wide home video distribution. Alí’s technical experience as a cinematographer and editor combined with his anomalous insight into Garifuna culture create a unique and productive mix.
Ruben Reyes, a Garifuna scholar and educator born in Tela, Honduras, comes to this project as a partner with extensive knowledge of the Garifuna culture and history and is an expert in Garifuna language. He teaches Garifuna language classes in Los Angeles and also produces “The Sásamu show,” a weekly program of interviews on GariTV.com about the Garifuna culture and issues in the community. Ruben is also the inventor of the Garifuna clock, editor of the Garifuna Trilingual Dictionary, and designer of the Garifuna flag emblem. He has also translated the National Anthems of Honduras, Guatemala and the United States into Garifuna, and co-founded the Garifuna Museum of Los Angeles.
ABOUT THE GARIFUNA
The Garifuna are descendants of African and Amerindians whose ancestors successfully resisted slavery. For their love of freedom, they were exiled from their homeland of St Vincent by British colonists, today they live throughout Central and North America. Despite exile and subsequent Diaspora, their traditional culture survives today. It is a little known story that deserves its place in the annals of the African Diaspora. This triumph of spirit and the cultural richness which has blossomed as a result of the physical and spiritual journey they had to endure are the focus of the Garifuna in Peril.