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// Films // Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth

Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth

Frauke Sandig & Eric Black / Germany - United States / 2011 / 98 ' / Spanish - Mayan / S.T. English


Grete Jentzen
Eric Black & Frauke Sandig
Eric Black
Arturo Pantaleón
Eric Black & Frauke Sandig
Assistant Director: Florina Mendoza
Sound Assistant: Roque Hernandez

Awards & Festivals

Official Selection, Vancouver International Film Festival
Winner, Special Mention, DocsDF, Mexico City
Winner, Special Jury Mention, Festival Int. de Cine de Derechos Humanos, Buenos Aires
Winner, Special Jury Mention, International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva
Winner, Nature Film Prize, Germany, Audience’s Favorite Award
Winner, the Pukañawi Award, Festival Internacional de Cine de los Derechos Humanos, Bolivia, First prize
Official Selection, Muestra de Cine Internacional Memoria Verdad Justicia, Guatemala
Winner, First Prize, Planet in Focus, Toronto
Official Selection, IDFA Amsterdam, Masters Section
Official Selection, Festival de Cine Verde de Barichara, Colombia, Closing Night Film
Official Selection, Cinema Planeta, Mexico, Closing Night Film
Winner, Runner up for Audience Award, Chicago Latino Film Festival,
Winner, People’s Choice Award, Cowichan International Aboriginal Film Festival
Official Selection, Cinélatino Rencontres de Toulouse
Winner, Amnesty International Reel Awareness Human Rights Film Festival, Toronto
Official Selection, Nepal Indigenous Film Festival
Winner, Prix Teueikan - Création 2e Prix, Direction Photo & Prix Séquences pour le Meilleur Documentaire, Festival Presence Autochtone, Montreal 2013

Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

In Production

A beautiful, thoughtful, and moving doc on spirituality and social justice, this story follows five Mayan activists who take on multinationals in Guatemala.


The ancient Maya believed this present world would end and a new cycle arise after 5125 years. How does the story end? Does the water change color? Do the oceans collapse? Does the sky fall as the last tree is cut?

HEART OF SKY, HEART OF EARTH allows the Maya of today to answer, following six young Maya in Guatemala and Chiapas through their daily and ceremonial life, revealing their determination to resist the destruction of their culture and environment. As corporations go to the ends of the earth to extract all value, all resources, they put forth a wholly indigenous perspective in their own words, without narration. Each story touches upon a facet of the current global crisis.

Beautifully filmed over years, the intimate accounts of the protagonists interweave with images associated with the fragile beauty of nature and the creation myth of the Popol Vuh. Ruins of a former Mayan civilization stand in the background as harbingers of our own possible fate. The Maya, like many indigenous people, believe they are the guardians of the Earth. Their cosmovision, in which all life is sacred and interconnected, presents a deeply compelling alternative to the prevailing worldview.

Chan K’in is studying to become possibly the last shaman of the Lacandon Maya, living amongst ruins of an ancient city and what was formerly the largest and most biodiverse rainforest in North America, now reduced to an island of green in a sea of cattle ranches.

After the brutal gang rape and murder of her aunt by the army, Flori had to flee the genocide as a little girl in Guatemala, where a quarter of a million Maya were assassinated. Now she is returning to her native village to organize her people against the Canadian gold mine poisoning their children, their environment and resurrecting the terror.

Felipe became a Guatemalan spiritual guide dedicated to the ceremonies of his Mayan ancestors to save, first himself from drug addiction and then to heal his people and help the survivors of the genocide close the “circle of pain”.

Chepita, in the highlands of Chiapas, is on a crusade to save the most sacred element of the Maya pantheon, the native corn, from Monsanto’s genetically manipulated hybrids. The massive “dumping” of heavily subsidized, imported North American corn means the Maya cannot sell their own corn. Chepita’s family members have become part of the diaspora, a river of nine million forced to migrate North.

Jerónimo, a farmer in a self-administered Mayan community, is a member of a movement of Mayan peasants, the Zapatistas, who declared war on the Mexican state the day the Free Trade (NAFTA) was imposed. “Before we Indigenous were faceless in the eyes of the powerful. Only when we cover our faces can they see us.”

The Mayan astro-archaeologist Alonso is obsessed the way his ancestors were obsessed: with time and space. Working among the majestic ruins of Palenque, he draws the parallel between the collapse of the classical Maya, the coming end of the “long count” and our impending ecological collapse.


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