the garifuna journey
46 minutes, DVD & VHS format, completed February
A 50-page study guide accompanies this documentary
A first voice testimony celebrating the resiliency of the Garifuna
people and their traditions. Shot entirely in Belize, the filmmakers
worked closely with Garifuna tradition bearers, anthropologists
and cultural activists during the research, scripting, production
and editing phases of this project. The documentary resulting
from this "outsider and insider" collaboration is the
first of its kind, one that captures the triumph of spirit of
the Garifuna people.
Descendants of African and Carib-Indian
ancestors, the Garifuna fought to maintain their homeland and
resisted slavery. For this love of freedom, they were exiled by
the British in 1797. Despite exile and subsequent Diaspora, their
traditional culture survives today. It is a little known story
that deserves its place in the annals of the African Diaspora.
In authentic Garifuna voices, this documentary presents the history,
the language, food, music, dance and spirituality of the Garifuna
culture. It is a celebratory documentary, with engaging scenes
of fishing, cooking, dancing, cassava preparation, thatching a
temple, spiritual ritual, ritual music and dance all demonstrating
the Garifuna link to the Carib-African past.
In May of 2001, the United Nations awarded
the Garifuna community the title: Proclamation of Masterpieces
of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
International Conference of Traditional Music, Rio de Janerio, Brazil
American Museum of Natural History, Caribbean Heritage Fest, New York
National Educational Film & Video Festival: BRONZE APPLE
18th Bilan du Film Ethnographique, Paris, France
Cartegena Film & Video Festival, Columbia
Pan African Film Festival, Los Angeles, California
Smithsonian, National Museum of American Indian, New York
Telluride Film & Video Festival
Columbus International Film and Video Festival: HONORABLE MENTION
Breckenridge Festival of Film, Colorado
Philadelphia International Film Festival: HONORABLE MENTION
Huntington International, NY: Artistic Excellence in Ethnographic Video
Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois
Latin American Studies Association Film Festival: AWARD OF MERIT
American Anthropology Film Festival, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Caribbean Studies Conference, Antigua, West Indies
Echoes of the Bone Conference, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
The Garifuna Journey Links:
The Garifuna Heritage Foundation
New Day Films: The Garifuna Journey
UNESCO: Garifuna Language, Dance and Music
distribution and purchase information for each video please go
"… a sensitive, balanced portrait of Garifuna ritual life and identity."
Mark Moberg, Ph.D.
"The Garifuna Journey Project has helped us to produce a wonderful, authentic film about our people which validates us and will prove useful back home...we are very, very satisfied and recognize the powerful role it can play in our educational programs."
Sebastian and Isabel Cayetano
Board of Directors
National Garifuna Council
"...a vital step in archiving the rich culture and fascinating trajectory of the Garifuna of Belize. The video is a prime model for the use of the moving image in preserving living culture."
Huntington International Independent Film Festival