Last night I had the opportunity to attend the Special preview screening of the documentary “Dance of the Maize God” by filmmaker David Lebrun as part of 2014 Maya Meetings being held at Casa Herrera in Antigua Guatemala. The event was free and open to The Maya Meetings participants and the general public. The filmmakers were available for a panel discussion after the screening.
The film focuses primarily in the exquisitely painted Maya vases, almost all looted from royal tombs, that have flooded into the world’s public and private collections. In 96 minutes the documentary covers a lot of ground, from the early chicleros who ventured into the jungle to the looters who sold pieces to art collectors, art galleries and museums mostly in the United States, from archeologists working presently in the Petén area to the locals living there. In short, the story is told by villagers, looters, archaeologists, scholars, dealers and curators, as the film description below states.
I am sorry to report I could not find a trailer to share with you for now. However, here’s the description of film documentary “Dance of the Maize God” that I found at Night Fire Films, home of the documentary. I will post an update when a trailer becomes available.
Over the past 50 years thousands of exquisitely painted Maya vases, almost all looted from royal tombs, have flooded into the world’s public and private collections. These amazing works of art have opened an extraordinary window on the Maya past. But the race to unearth these treasures has destroyed ancient temples and palaces, culminating in the takeover of entire ancient cities by looter armies.
The documentary feature film Dance of the Maize God enters the world of the vases to explore the royal life and rich mythology of the Maya, as well as the tangled issues involved in the collection and study of Maya art. The story is told by villagers, looters, archaeologists, scholars, dealers and curators. For each, these vases have a radically different value and meaning.
On a purely sensual level, the film celebrates the artistry of these vases. It uses visual fascination as the doorway to intellectual and emotional engagement. Dramatic re-enactments and animated graphics created from ancient artwork bring to life Maya history and culture.
Dance of the Maize God was produced with major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and will be completed in January 2014.
Also, no photos were allowed of the actual film, but here’s a slide show of the screening so you guys get an idea of what the event looked like.
An here’s the promotional banner Casa Herrera used to promote the special preview screening.
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