‘Killa’: A New Film About Saving Natives

“The director of Ecuador’s first Kichwa-language movie wants the public to know the plot-line but also that the problems facing all Indigenous Peoples in this hemisphere are based on colonialism and a lack of sovereignty.”  R. Kearns, ICTMN

Alberto Muenala, a highly respected Kichwa scholar and filmmaker directed “Killa”, a film presenting the issues Indigenous Peoples . Courtesy Frida Muenala

Excerpt:  Killa’: The Indigenous Story Against Mining and Corruption, by Rick Kearns, ICTMN

“The movie Killa (pronounced keeja) premiered in the second week of March. It tells the story of a Kichwa (one of the Quechua related ethnicities) photojournalist who takes incriminating photos of a mining company operation and how ‘a corrupt government official takes ruthless steps to stop their publication.’ The local Indigenous community rallies in defense of their land against the mining operation and that leads to a conflict with government forces.

With this film we hope to demonstrate how our values and principles of maternal respect to the Pachamama (Mother Earth) can lead all of us toward the ultimate goal of sumak kawsay (good living)—respect, dignity, and cultural coexistence.

Killa is the culmination of our community’s search for a cinematic voice. This ambitious project is the first feature-length film written, directed, and produced by Kichwa filmmakers in our native Kichwa language.

[ According to Director Albert Muenala] ‘Every day we are subjected to a process of continued colonialism that does not allow for the self-determination of the peoples; it has become common practice to auction and sell off territories to transnational oil and mining companies without prior consent of the first peoples,’.

The Mestizo audiences in Quito and Tulcan left the theaters pleased to see another way of making movies that show realities that they themselves are not aware of in themselves too (racism), as well as seeing how the attitudes of the rulers played out, Muenala stated. Killa will be shown in other parts of Ecuador and Muenala is hoping to bring the movie to the U.S. and elsewhere through film festivals.”

Category: Films