DER Documentary

Gods and Kings

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by Robin Blotnick
produced by Rachel Lears
color, 87 min, 2012

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In the muddy market square of Momostenango, Guatemala, where shamans burn offerings in the shadow of the Catholic church, prehispanic gods dance beside horror movie monsters and dictators from the dark days of the Cold War. Unlike the folkloric performances long studied by anthropologists, this new dance won't show up on any postcard. In some villages, it's even been banned for frightening tourists. So how did these fiberglass masks of Xena: Warrior Princess come to be blessed in the smoke of Maya altars?

Presenting a striking case never before documented on film, Gods and Kings illuminates the way creations of mass-culture take on new meanings as they travel around the world. In a town where a Hollywood B-movie villain is a real evil spirit, stories can't be taken lightly and it always matters who's telling them.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Opening Night Film, ETHNOCINECA, Austria, 2014
First Place, Intangible Culture Film Prize, RAI Festival of Ethnographic Film, Edinburgh, UK, 2013
University of British Columbia Ethnographic Film Festival, Canada, 2014
Cine Las Americas, USA, 2014
11th World Film Festival, Estonia, 2014
Ethnographic Film Festival of Quebec (FIFEQ), Canada, 2014
Western Europe Premiere, Miradasdoc, Guía de Isora, Spain, 2012
North American Premiere, Morelia International Film Festival, Mexico, 2012

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