Oldcastle’s First Film of 2018: ‘Rigoberta Menchu: Daughter of the Maya’
Oldcastle Theater will offer the Vermont premiere of ‘Rigoberta Menchu: Daughter of the Maya,’ on Friday, January 5, at 7 p.m. The film shares the story of Rigoberta Menchu. “The priests say the new dawn will be like the rain that fertilizes the soil before we begin to plant our corn. It will renew the natural cycle of life. The Mayan people will once again flourish. I believe in this very strongly. The holy men say we are entering a period of clarity. We are rediscovering our Mayan values,” says the film’s unlikely hero, a poor peasant Maya girl living in a remote section of Guatemala who survived a genocide and became a voice for her people across the world.
Rigoberta Menchú Tum was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 in recognition of her work for social justice based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples in her native Guatemala. She is the first indigenous person to receive the Prize. In 2007, Rigoberta ran for Presidency of Guatemala with Encuentro por Guatemala in 2007. Subsequently, Rigoberta made important contributions in spearheading the first indigenous party in Guatemala, and garnering enough votes to make her WINAQ party official, and ran again for President with this party in 2011. Despite the fact that she was not elected, she remains a steadfast presence in Guatemalan politics and the struggle to end impunity. She was born in 1959 to a poor Indian family in the highlands of Guatemala. Like many other countries in the Americas, Guatemala has experienced great tension between the descendants of European immigrants and the native Indian population. The Menchú family experienced extreme hardship as a result of their Mayan background. Rigoberta confronted the oppression faced by her family and her people by actively protesting labor and human rights abuses. In 1981 she was forced to seek exile in Mexico, where she became an eloquent defender of the rights and values of indigenous peoples and other victims of government oppression. On several occasions, Rigoberta returned to her home country to plead the cause of the Indian peasants, but death threats forced her back into exile. In 1983, her testimonial book ‘I, Rigoberta Menchú,’ catapulted the plight of indigenous people in Guatemala into global headlines. After receiving the Peace Prize, Rigoberta established the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation which promotes the rights of indigenous people around the world. She is an author of many books and active activist towards working for justice in her native country.
All seats are $7. Oldcastle Theatre is located at 331 Main Street in Bennington. For more information, call 802-447-0564 or visit oldcastletheatre.org.