RSS file with home page updates in XML RSS Info divider Bookmark and Share divider email Join our email list! divider cartCart  
Icarus Film
Distributing innovative and
provocative documentary films
from independent producers
around the world
32 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201divider(718) 488 8900
A Massacre Foretold
A Film by Nick Higgins
 Text Size Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size divider Printable VersionPrintable Version
film still

On December 22, 1997, in the southernmost Mexican province of Chiapas, 45 indigenous residents of Acteal, who had taken refuge in the village church, were massacred by paramilitary troops. Most of those killed were children and women (five of them pregnant).

film still

The Acteal villagers were members of the pacifist group "Las Abejas" (The Bees), supporters of the newly emergent Zapatista Army of National Liberation, but who renounced that organization's violent methods. Although the murders of the unarmed peasants garnered worldwide news coverage, no serious government investigation of the atrocity was ever conducted.

film still

A MASSACRE FORETOLD chronicles these historic events, including the 1994 emergence of the Zapatistas, the Mexican army's attacks on rural peasant communities — involving destruction of homes, forced displacement of entire communities, and "disappearances" and murders meant to terrorize the indigenous population — and government "negotiations" with the Zapatistas.

film still

In addition to archival footage — including scenes of those seeking refuge in the church photographed just hours before they were killed, as well as meetings between Zapatista and Mexican government representatives, and comments by Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos — the film features moving interviews with massacre survivors and eyewitnesses, the Bishop of Chiapas, human rights activists, and a lawyer for Las Abejas.

A MASSACRE FORETOLD thus historically and socially contextualizes the massacre, the role of clandestine government death squads, the failure of the government's negotiations with the Zapatistas to even begin to address necessary social reforms (no peace talks have taken place since 1998), as well as the background of racial and economic discrimination against Mexico's indigenous, impoverished population.

“Thoughtful, visually striking... features incredible footage.” —Stephen E. Lewis, The Americas

“Easily accessible to audiences with some grounding in the relevant issues. It will be a useful addition to courses on globalization, Mexico, Latin American studies, and in surveys of political violence and terrorism.” —Daniel S. Margolies, Anthropology Review Database

"A powerful, moving film... tells the horrific story of the Acteal massacre with the restrained clarity and empathy which the woeful tale deserves." —Emma Davie, DOX Magazine

"An excellent documentary... an urgent reminder of the need for justice and an end to paramilitary violence in Chiapas." —Professor Neil Harvey, Center for Latin American and Border Studies, New Mexico State University, author of The Chiapas Rebellion

"Locates the Acteal massacre within the Mexican government's dual strategy toward the Zapatista conflict; observes the reality both in the light of the San Andres agreements, and also in the context of the paramilitary strategy of terror for which nobody has taken responsibility or yet faced justice." —La Jornada Michoacan

"Certainly one of the most urgent tasks of documentaries, particularly in this era of lightweight, portable equipment, is to bear witness. Nick Higgins's A MASSACRE FORETOLD does so admirably." —Dennis West, Cineaste

2007 WACC/Signis Prize, Best Human Rights Documentary
Morelia Festival de Cine
2007 Festival International du Film Des Droits de l'Homme - Paris
2007 Kosmorama Trondheim International Film Festival - Norway
  

58 minutes / color
Release: 2008
Copyright: 2007
Sale: $348

Subject areas:
Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America, Latin American Studies, Mexico, Political Science, Politics

Related Links:

Related Titles:
The Inheritors: At early age children begin to work in the Mexican countryside. This is a portrait of theirs lives and their daily struggle for survival.

Tracing Aleida: Thirty years after being separated when their parents "disappeared" during Mexico's "Dirty War" in the '70s, Aleida searches to uncover the truth, and to find her brother.

Home | New | Titles | Subjects | PDFs | Ordering | Resources | Latest News | Site Map   
About | Closed Captioned | Best Sellers | Study Guides | Filmmakers | RSS | Screenings   
address
  Follow Us! On...
Facebook Follow Icarus Films on Twitter YouTube
Copyright (c) 2016, Icarus Films
Last Updated August 17, 2015
Privacy Policy