A premier screening on Maui of the award-winning documentary film “Defensora” will be offered free to the public at UH Maui College on Wednesday October 1 at 6:30 pm in Ka Lama 103. The showing is co-sponsored by Maui Peace Action and Assistant Professor Samuel Kaleikoa Ka’eo and the Hawaiian Studies through Film class.
“Defensora” documents the historic and on-going land and community defense struggles of Mayan Q’eqchi communities in eastern Guatemala and their suits for justice and remedy in Canadian courts against the nickel mining company Hudbay Minerals. Produced and directed by Rachel Schmidt and winner of the International John Basham Award at the 2013 Columbia Gorge International Film Festival as well as Silver Screen Award at the Nevada Film Festival 2013, “Defensora” follows the story of sisters Maria and Angelica Choc, who lead a Mayan Q’eqchi resistance in Guatemala to reclaim ancestral lands and seek justice in Canada for the murder of Angelica’s husband, the shooting and paralyzing of German Choc Chub and the gang rapes of 11 Mayan women.
Schmidt will attend the screening and speak about her work documenting the stories of the Maya Q’eqchi people in their struggle to both survive the violence of Hudbay Minerals’ employees and keep farming their ancestral lands.
Jen Moore from Mining Watch Canada says, ” ‘Defensora’ is a timely documentary that provides candid insights into the brave struggles of Angélica, German and other Maya Q’eqchi women and men in El Estor, Guatemala, who, faced with the grave harm that Canadian mining operations have brought about, are on the frontline of the battle for justice in Canadian courts.”
Donations will be accepted for the legal funds of the Mayan plaintiffs in the Hudbay cases in Canadian courts.
Rachel Schmidt is an award winning Canadian documentary film producer and director. Her work on the front lines includes assignments in post-conflict Liberia and at the African Union in Ethiopia; to the centre of the tar sands in Northern Alberta; to filming in refugee camps in West Africa where she was detained by the military; to interviewing women world leaders at one of the largest gender rights forums outside of the United Nations in Bangkok. As the Director and Producer of Defensora, Rachel spent time in Guatemala last year documenting historic and on-going land and community defense struggles of Mayan Q’eqchi communities in eastern Guatemala.
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Maui Peace Action is a diverse group of citizens committed to ho’omaluhia (making peace). We encourage disarmament through peaceful international cooperation, protest preemptive aggression, promote non-violent solutions to world conflict, and educate for social justice.