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A Place Called Chiapas (1998)

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On January 1 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), made up of impoverished Mayan Indians from the state of Chiapas, took over five towns and 500 ranches in southern Mexico. The Government deployed its troops, and at least 145 people died in the ensuing battle. Fighting for indigenous Mexicans to regain control over their lives and the land, the Zapatista Army, led by the charismatic guerilla poet Subcommandante Marcos, started sending their message to the world via the Internet. The result was what The New York Times called "the world's first post-modern revolution."

Nettie Wild travelled to the jungle canyons of southern Mexico to film the elusive and fragile life of the uprising. Her camera effectively and movingly captures the human dimensions behind this war of symbols.

Much has happened in Chiapas since this film was made. You can read a 2013 EZLN communiqué here.

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Films For Action is a community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

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Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Although we started out hosting community film screenings in the beginning and did so for many years, our digital library eventually became our primary focus. 

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“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21