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SYNOPSIS: A Garifuna language teacher, Ricardo, struggles to preserve his endangered Afro-Amerindian culture by building a language school back in his home village in Honduras, Central America. A business venture with his brother designed to raise money for the school’s construction becomes complicated by the expansion plans of a nearby tourist resort into indigenous territory. Historical parallels are invoked as Ricardo’s son rehearses a stage play about the Garifuna people’s last stand against British colonialism over 200 years ago in their motherland, the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean. Naturalistically shot, with debut performances by nearly the entire cast, “Garifuna in Peril” makes its own history as the first feature film with the majority of dialogue in Garifuna, a language proclaimed by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.


The Garifuna are descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people who live in the coastal regions of Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua in Central America. The Garifuna came to be in Central America after they were exiled from their homeland (the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean) by the British in 1797 after nearly two centuries of successfully defending their freedom against colonization. Since they refused to submit to slavery, the Garifuna managed to preserve both their African roots and their Amerindian heritage, a fusion resulting in a unique ethnicity considered indigenous to the Americas.

Despite widespread acknowledgement in intellectual and educational circles of the richness of Garifuna language, dance, music and culture and the need for its preservation, the survival of the culture is at risk due to globalization, poverty, health issues, discriminatory land measures, and lack of educational opportunities. These challenges have taken a toll on the current generation of Garifuna and many have been forced to assimilate toward more mainstream cultural influences, giving less and less attention to their cultural roots. Local governments and the society at large in the countries in which the Garifuna live tend to ignore their plight and have yet to exhibit serious concern for the survival of this culture.

Written, Produced and Directed by: Ali Allie and Ruben Reyes
Year of Production: 2012
Countries of Production: USA/Honduras
Running Time: 99 minutes
Languages: 55% Garífuna, 30% English, 15% Spanish
Subtitled in: English (Spanish subtitled version available)
Additional Writing: William Flores
Associate Producers: Dudley Augustine, Ben Flores, Jorge Garifuna
Actors: Ruben Reyes, Julian Castillo, Gloria Garnett, Jessica Alvarez, E.J. Mejia, Jr., Luis Martinez, Aubrey Wakeling, Arleny Escobar
Cinematographer: Alí Allié
Editors: Alí Allié, Ruben Reyes, Milton Guity, Katherine Cumpa, Marya Murphy Music: Emilio Nuñez & Labaña Maraza, Aziatic, Punta Cartel, Ala Suazo, Rene Crisanto y La Runi Hati, Bodoma, Isabel Flores, Garifuna Records, Bootsy Rankin, Julito Timbalito, Bill Cayetano, Georgette Lambey, Glen Garcia, Nuru, Luisito Martinez, Yanyman, Ruben Reyes


Past Screenings /
Presentaciones Pasadas

London Latin American Film Festival
(November 25, 2012)

New York African Diaspora Film Festival
(December 2 & 5, 2012)

Santa Fe Film Festival
(December 8, 2012)

Best of the New York African Diaspora Film Festival
(January 18, 2013)

San Diego Black Film Festival
(February 3, 2013)

Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival
(February 16, 2013)

Arizona International Film Festival
(April 13 & 28, 2013)
AWARD WINNER: Best Narrative Feature

Athens International Film + Video Festival (Ohio)
(April 14, 2013)

Chicago Latino Film Festival
(April 14 & 16, 2013)

Festival International du Film Panafricain (Cannes, France)
(April 19th, 2013)

Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (Seattle)
(April 19th, 2013)

Boston International Film Festival
(April 20, 2013)
AWARD WINNER: Indie Spirit Special Recognition

Worldfest Houston
(April 21, 2013)
AWARD WINNER: Golden Remi for Docu-Drama

Berlin Black Cinema International
(May 11, 2013)

SALALM Conference
(May 18, 2013)

The Sankofa Salons
African Diaspora Creative Industries Forum (Los Angeles)
(May 25, 2013)

Garifuna Film Festival International (Los Angeles)
(May 25 & 26, 2013)

Zanzibar International Film Festival
(July 4, 2013)

Miami Premiere presented by GarifunaTV
(July 11, 2013)

Belize International Film Festival
(July 12, 2013)

Tour of Southern Belize
(July 12-17, 2013)

Guatemala Premiere (Livingston)
(July 18, 2013)

San Francisco Premiere presented by Beulah Stanley & Culture Productions
(August 22, 2013)

CaribbeanTales Toronto Film Showcase
(September 11, 2013)

Atlanta Premiere presented by Susan Arauz Barnes
(September 25, 2013)

Capital City Black Film Festival (Austin)
(September 27, 2013)

Cine+Mas San Francisco Latino Film Festival
(September 27, 2013)

New York City presented by Teofilo Colon, Jr. of
(October 2, 2013)

New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema
(October 3, 2013)

Interrogating the African Diaspora
Michigan State University
(October 4, 2013)

Mesoamerican Mosaic at the Newark Public Library
(October 5, 2013)

Muestra Internacional de Cine y Video en Defensa de la Vida y el Territorio (Guatemala)
(October 7, 2013)

Central American Film Experience
California State University, Northridge
(October 16, 2013)

Festival de Cine de Bogota
(October 16-24, 2013)

Tour of Northern Honduras
(October 18-29, 2013)

Festival de Cinema Latino American di Trieste
(October 25, 2013)
AWARD WINNER: Audience Choice

Englewood International Film Festival
(October 26, 2013)

Uptown Film Festival
(November 9, 2013)

BronzeLens Film Festival
(November 9, 2013)

Pitzer College
Transnational Identities Film Series
(November 15)

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
& Belize Garifuna Cultural Organization of Michigan
(November 16)

Texas A&M University
Transnational Blackness Series
(November 19)

University of Virginia
& Student Organization of Caribbean Awareness
(November 21)

Festival Cine//B
Santiago, Chile
(November 28)

Bahamas International Film Festival
(December 5 & 6)

Ventana Sur

Texas Black Film Festival
(February 28)

Soka University of America
(February 28)

Oakland International Film Festival
(April 4)

New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema
(April 24)

Schools and institutions, please see educational licensing information.