Meta Mayan II

1981, 20:02 min, color, sound

Shot in the Guatemalan Highlands, Meta Mayan II is a keenly observed, poetic video essay on the indigenous culture of the Mayans. Velez's vision is intensely personal; avoiding overt editorializing or ethnographic analysis, he depicts the landscapes, gestures, textures and rhythms of their culture in powerful, evocative images. The political and internecine conflicts confronting the Mayans are conveyed through the sound of American news broadcasts. Through subtle video effects — rapid, almost liquid pans, magnified close-ups, and slow motion — Velez expresses their strength and dignity. His highly charged, slow-motion image of a Mayan woman, gazing with curiosity and suspicion at the camera, becomes an eloquent metaphor for a culture in transition.

Producers: Ethel Velez, Edin Velez. Editor: Scott Doniger. Electronic Graphics: Rand Joseph. Post Production Coordinator: Barbara Ravis. Executive Producer: Carol Brandenburg. A production of Edin Velez in association with the TV Lab at WNET/Thirteen.