Andrew Weeks

I hope you enjoy my documentary film about the T'zutujil Maya town of Santiago Atitlan in Guatemala.

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Balancing the Cosmos| 1hr : 50mins
Director: Andrew Weeks | Producer:
Focus Years: | Country: United Kingdom
Subject Tags: americas, belief, europe, guatemala, religion, spiritual awareness, united kingdom
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
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 doesn’t refer to our culture’s fantasies or longings about 2012 as an end of the ancient Maya’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 Atitlán is the largest purely indigenous town in the Americas, and with a population of over fifty thousand speaking the Maya language of Tz’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. It’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 Tz’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.

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Andrew Weeks

United Kingdom


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