Moon Belize (Moon Handbooks) - Lebawit Lily Girma (2015)
There are many excellent short films on Belize, on both the natural world and cultural issues. Look up Richard and Carol Foster’s Path of the Rain Gods and Channel 5’s The Sea of Belize and The Land of Belize. Then tune in to www.trphoto.blip.tv, which has some gorgeous educational shorts on Belize; these would be excellent for families to watch together before or after their trip to Belize.
Curse of The Xtabai, by Make-Belize Films (www.makebelizefilms.com). If you’re into drama and fiction, check out U.S. producer Matthiew Klinck’s first feature film. The story revolves around an evil spirit, Xtabai, unleashed onto the population of a Mayan village after an oil company blows open a sealed Mayan cave in San Antonio. What ensues is an attempt to save the villagers from an epidemic of deadly fevers, through sacred tasks as dictated by a Mayan elder.
Punta Soul, produced and directed by Nyasha Laing (www.parandamedia.com). This 2008 documentary film by a Belizean tells the story of Garífuna music as it evolved with the Garífuna people’s journey from the Caribbean islands to Central America. Laing addresses how the rhythms continue to influence the cultural revival of the ethnic communities in Belize. Buy the DVD at the Image Factory in Belize City.
Three Kings of Belize, by Katia Paradis. This 2007 film is a beautiful, poignant tribute to Belizean musicians Paul Nabor, Wilfred Peters, and Florencio Mess, who represent Garífuna, Creole, and Mayan music traditions, respectively. Though their music is internationally recognized, they live humble lives in Belizean villages. The film moves at the slow, relaxed pace of Belize itself. To find a copy, go to the Image Factory in Belize City or contact Stonetree Records (www.stonetreerecords.com).