A lot has been said about the Tren Maya and the implications it could have. Some rejoice in the idea of a new way of attracting tourism; others assure that it is the way to the development of the Mexican southeast. But what do the real affected people say? What are the voices of the communities that will suffer the impact of this project? The documentary “The train and the peninsula” gives diffusion to all those who have been ignored.
“The train and the peninsula” is a project by the Ambulante collective, which seeks to interfere in a space forgotten by many: the voice of the Mayan community. In 2020, the construction of the famous Tren Maya formally began; this project has been used as a political instrument, as an advertising campaign and as a false promise. All of Mexico has expressed its opinion about it, but who is worth listening to is the communities that will suffer this impact.
This incredible documentary, which will open in places such as the Museum of Memory and Tolerance (September 1st) or the Digital Culture Center (August 31st). “The train and the peninsula” is a production directed by documentary filmmaker Sky Richards and Andreas Kruger Foncerrada, both committed to social, cultural and environmental impact in Mexico.
The official synopsis of Ambulante defines this documentary as follows: “‘The train and the peninsula’ is an immersion that takes us along the planned route of the railway megaproject called Tren Maya and delves into the ideological and territorial struggles that are fought in the ancestral land of the Maya.”
Throughout 88 minutes of documentary, you will know the looks, voices and feelings of different people, all belonging to the Mayan communities. They will speak to you with their truth. At no time there is talk of politics or important people. From their perspective you will be able to understand the importance of cultures and the battles they have had to face in this new world.
But not only that, “The train and the peninsula” also takes a tour of the “paradises” that Mexico has. He arrives in Cancún, Tulum, and Bacalar, and explains how voracious corporate hunger not only took away the land, but also the identity of the Mayan peoples.
One of the testimonies recounted an extremely strong experience. He mentioned that some foreigners said to his face: “Why did the Mayans disappear?” He, a member of this heritage, had to answer with a laugh: “I am one of them.”
“Trains rust, the community doesn’t.” This was one of the most iconic phrases in the documentary “The train and the peninsula”, it sums up very well what he is talking about. Progress is not fought with cultures, but must be through respectful and empathetic models with communities.