Balancing the Cosmos| 1hr : 50mins
Director: Andrew Weeks | Producer: Allen Christenson, Joel Skidmore, & Matthew Schramer
Focus Years: 2010 | Country: United Kingdom
An intimate portrait of a modern indigenous Maya city and its people, traditions and rituals, filmed in the highlands of Guatemala. This film is not Apocalyptic! It doesnâ€™t refer to our cultureâ€™s fantasies or longings about 2012 as an end of the ancient Mayaâ€™s long count calendar. This is the survival of an indigenous culture and how it adapts and embraces the modern world. We wanted to see what tradition meant in a modern Maya city: what survives in the face of social, religious and political pressures. Some say that Santiago AtitlÃ¡n is the largest purely indigenous town in the Americas, and with a population of over fifty thousand speaking the Maya language of Tzâ€™utujil, it well may be. This is a look at the nearest existing equivalent to an ancient Maya city. It is a community driven by commerce, politics and religious ritual just as all cities have been throughout history. Itâ€™s hard to think of another ancient civilization that has so much resonance with a contemporary society, and one through which people feel such direct connections with their ancestors. I wanted this film to reflect my experience of the town - not to be a vehicle for explanations, theories or opinions about it. These are years of change everywhere and for everyone, and the Tzâ€™utujil are no exception. This film was made over the course of eight years. The dramatis personae changed: people died, people grew and changed. The town changed, tradition continued.