The Living Maya
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by Hubert Smith
color, 58 min each, 1985
This series can be purchased as a collection or as four individual programs
Non-profit and K-12 pricing also available
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This series documents life in a Yucatan village, focusing on one family over the course of a year. The films explore the ancient agricultural and religious customs that ground contemporary Maya life in traditional values – even as modern Mexico comes to the village. In Maya, Spanish, and English, with English subtitles.
The Living Maya Program 1
Introduces the village of Chican and the Colli-Colli family, and examines the structure of Maya agricultural and village life.
The Living Maya Program 2
Hard-pressed by an illness in the family, the Colli-Colli face financial and emotional challenges using traditional solidarity to muster resources and comfort. Drought threatens the village's crucial corn crop.
The Living Maya Program 3
As the Colli-Colli resolve their difficulties and the village harvests a mediocre corn crop, viewers are left with an understanding of the underlying rationales of Maya life and with questions about their own assumptions, priorities, and values.
The Living Maya Program 4
The Colli-Colli's two youngest sons plead to be placed in school in Merida – the first of their family to reject traditional life.
Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
CINE Golden Eagle Award
PBS national broadcasts
Margaret Mead Film Festival honoree
Choice Outstanding Nonprint Media Award