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New Day Films
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"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

The Garifuna Journey

About The Film: The Garifuna Journey
A first voice testimony celebrating the resiliency of the
Garifuna people and their traditions.

46 minutes, DVD, completed February 1998
A 50-page study guide available online

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.

Screenings and Awards:

  • National Educational Film & Video Festival: BRONZE APPLE
  • Columbus International Film and Video Festival: HONORABLE MENTION
  • Philadelphia International Film Festival: HONORABLE MENTION
  • Huntington International, NY: Artistic Excellence in Ethnographic Video
  • Latin American Studies Association Film Festival: AWARD OF MERIT
  • 18th Bilan du Film Ethnographique (official selection)

    The Garifuna Journey Links:
    New Day Films
    Unesco: Garifuna culture
    GAHFU, Inc.