Reversing the Missionary Position: Documentary recounts the experience of GR activist involved in the Central American Solidarity Movement

(Disclosure: This documentary is based upon a book written by the same person who hosts the Grand Rapids People’s History Project, Jeff Smith)Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 3.13.57 PM

In 2003, I wrote a book about my experiences doing Central American Solidarity work, Sembramos, Comemos, Sembramos: Learning Solidarity on Mayan Time.  As the insurgent movement for justice in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2006, I got the idea of working on a documentary about my experiences while doing solidarity work in Guatemala and Mexico. I finished the film that fall and we screened the film at the Wealthy Theater and donated the ticket sales to one of the groups involved in the uprising in Mexico, the Popular Assembly of the People’s of Oaxaca, also known as APPO

The title of the film, Reversing the Missionary Position, is taken from the introduction of my book and meant as a challenge to the pervasive notion that those of us in the US are superior to people in other countries and that our role is always to “help those people” who are struggling. One thing I was trying to communicate in the film was to say (using religious language) that it was I who evangelized, it was I who was converted, it was I who was transformed by doing this work.

The film covers the period from 1988 through 2001 and is 55 minutes long.

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