NATIVE PLANET 
Canada, Mexico | 2017 
O'Dam, Mexicanero,
Wixárika and Spanish with English subtitles | 45 min

Sunday, Aug 27
6:00 | The Cinematheque


Directors/Producers/Writers: Carmen Henríquez & Denis Paquette
Cinematographer: Denis Paquette
Editor: Carmen Henríquez
Cast: Simon Baker

In Native Planet, host Simon Baker travels deep inside Mexico’s Durango State, to meet Indigenous communities still practicing their traditional justice systems, largely independent from the Government of Mexico. Long before the Spanish came to colonize the country centuries ago, the Mezquital, a remote part of the Sierra Madre Mountains, was home to the Indigenous O'Dam, Mexicaneros and Wirrarika people. For generations, Mexico largely ignored these Indigenous people who successfully carved out their own existence, culture, identity and social justice system. However, recent events have impoverished their agrarian communities and made them easy targets for the cartels, which coerce them into growing illegal crops. Now, the lands belonging to these largely forgotten Indigenous communities are the front lines in a battle between rival cartels and the country's military police. As Simon travels their high mountain roads to visit O'Dam, Mexicaneros and Wirrarika communities, he comes to understand how increasing violence is shaping their environment and their ability to sustain their peace and independence.

En Native Planet, el protagonista Simon Baker viaja al México profundo, en el estado de Durango, para conocer a las comunidades indígenas que continúan practicando el sistema de justicia tradicional, y que es independiente al que practica el gobierno mexicano. Mucho tiempo antes de que España colonizó al país, la zona de El Mezquital, una parte remota situada en las montañas de la sierra madre, era el hogar de las naciones O’Dam, Mexicaneros y Wirrarika. Por generaciones, México ignoro a los pueblos indios, quienes lograron construir su propia existencia, cultura, identidad y su sistema de justicia. Sin embargo, recientes eventos han empobrecido sus comunidades agrarias y se han convertido en un blanco fácil para los grupos de narcotraficantes, quienes les obligan a plantar semillas ilegales. Ahora, la tierra que les pertenece a los grupos indígenas quienes han sido olvidados por el gobierno, está en la zona frontal de las batallas entres cárteles rivales y la policía militar del país. Mientras Simon viaja por las montañas para visitar a estas naciones, logra entender como la creciente violencia, está mermando su medio ambiente y la posibilidad de vivir en paz y con independencia.

Carmen Henríquez and Denis Paquette are Vancouver-based directors and producers of documentary films, TV series for APTN, and multimedia content. As co-principals of RealWorld Media, Carmen and Denis’ filmmaking interests are focused on themes of social, economic and environmental justice. Their feature documentary The Cry of the Andes screened at VLAFF in 2010.