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When the Mountain Trembles

Though promoted as "the astonishing story" of Nobel Peace Prize winner and Quiche Indian Rigoberta Menchú, the documentary is actually more the story of the Guatemalan people at large, specifically the struggles of the poor and peaceful Mayan and Quiche Indian population that came to be labeled "subversives" by a draconian government. The film won several independent film awards, and earns its stead among other political truth-telling documentaries, including Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. The explanation of the role the Reagan administration played in providing money, arms and training to the corrupt Guatemalan government has relevance to countless other American interventions in foreign affairs. The filmmakers reveal both the complexities and the tragedies of the Guatemalan situation; scenes of Indians digging through massive garbage dumps for useful scraps are juxtaposed with those of government-sponsored beauty pageants in which Indians are proudly paraded in native costumes. Footage of breast-feeding Indians making camp in the jungle to avoid being found (and killed) is equally as compelling as the images from protests and brutalities that occurred in the cities. DVD 90 minutes

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