Farmers fight back against Honduran elite

0 Posted by - March 2, 2012 - Blog, Friday Film Pick, Screen

Produced by Amy Miller, the documentarian behind MYTHS FOR PROFIT and her much-anticipated follow-up THE CARBON RUSH, this week’s Friday Film Pick is the film-in-progress RESISTENCIA. Directed by Jesse Freeston, the documentary follows the land-and-rights struggle by farmers against Miguel Facussé, the richest man in Honduras. Freeston is a committed independent journalist who has dedicated more than two years to documenting this overlooked struggle that has pitted poor Honduran communities against an elite class all too willing to use the most violent tactics in order to fill their own pockets.

The documentary is now an IndieGogo campaign film, and is seeking contributions to meet its $20,000 goal in the next few weeks. With support from documentary fans, cinephiles, defenders of human rights and activists working in solidarity with the oppressed but fighting-back poor, RESISTENCIA will get made and should be one hell of a film. Learn more about the project, watch the five minute teaser, and consider making a donation – after the jump.



From Jesse Freeston:

After months filming inside the occupied plantations of Honduras’ Aguán Valley, I’ve unleashed a 5-min teaser for my upcoming documentary, RESISTENCIA.

The film follows 3,000 landless farming families as they occupy the palm oil plantations of Miguel Facussé, the richest man in Honduras. Over their two-year-long occupation, they’ve been threatened, jailed, beaten, had their homes burnt down, and more than forty farmers have been killed by Facussé’s guards, the police, and the military, all of which work together to try and push them off the land. Despite this constant violence, the families are still there and they’re not going anywhere.

The occupation began after the 2009 military coup d’etat—organized by Facussé and other oligarchs—that overthrew the only president that ever supported the farmers. Abandoned by the electoral process, the farmers took over the land and are now implementing their own democracy inside the occupied plantations.

MEDIA BLACKOUT

I returned to North America in late 2011 with this precious footage, expecting that the people who finance documentaries would recognize the importance of this story. After a few months of trying to get funding from traditional sources, I’ve learned that the industry doesn’t believe that we (you and I) are interested in a documentary about peoples’ struggles in Central America. One influential personality even told me that I had “a fascinating story and incredible footage”, and that if it were happening in Iran he would fund it today. “Unfortunately though, nobody cares about Honduras,” he said.
He’s wrong.

If people don’t care about Honduras, it’s because the media either completely ignores Honduras or focuses exclusively on gangs and drug-trafficking, a tiny sliver of Honduran reality. I know that people do care about Hondurans, they’ve just never been properly introduced. And since flying everyone to the Aguán Valley isn’t exactly reasonable, the next best option is a documentary film.
There is no reason why the Aguán Valley Occupation isn’t mentioned in the same breath as Tahrir Square and Occupy Wall Street. But, we need your support to help break the media blackout on the Aguán.

WHAT’s NEXT

A rough cut of the film is nearly finished, but my video skills alone aren’t enough to do this story justice. The plan is to raise $20,000 in the next month in order to hire: an animator, a sound designer, a web designer, and the fine video editor needed to really make this film shine. As well as to pay the brilliant Honduran musicians that have offered their music to the soundtrack.
This film is happening no matter what. But, with your solidarity, it is going to be soooo much better.
We’ve already raised more than $5,000 in the first five days of the campaign, but there’s still a lot to go.
Ask people if they’ve heard about the Aguán. Share the trailer and website. Fund the film and get others to do the same. And definitely check out some of the funky perks that come with your donation. Of course, if you have other ideas of ways you can contribute to the project, send those along.

Lets do this.

 

To contribute to this film, visit the IndieGogo page.

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