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Sustainability 41: 'Cultures of Resistance'

Updated on March 24, 2010
An interconnected world
An interconnected world

What do social, political and cultural resistance have to do with sustainability? Everything — as the 2010 documentary ‘Cultures of Resistance’, by director Iara Lee and Producer George Gund III, amply illustrates.

Filmed in 25 countries around the globe, this 90-minute cultural travelogue documents community and tribal resistance efforts, expressed through such means as poetry, dance, cartoons, music, graffiti, education and various forms of social activism. ‘Cultures of Resistance’ received several packed viewings at the 34th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF), held at the Tower City Cinemas in downtown Cleveland, March 18th through 28th.

No matter the cause — indigenous peoples of Brazil decrying the plunder of their natural Amazonian world; Palestinian refugees striving for a place they can truly call home; Liberian women stitching together the frayed social fabric of their strife-torn nation; Colombians using poetry to heal the wounds of endless political instability and drug wars; child soldiers of Africa learning to heal rather than kill — this film shows, that throughout many of the most dangerous and riven parts of the world, stability and sustainability can only follow reason, resistance, resolution and rededication to a unified human spirit.

‘Cultures of Resistance’, though at times strident and unnerving on the surface, conveys the subliminal message that none of us can make it without the others — that all of us depend upon all the rest of us for social progress, peace, and prosperity.

The documentary is presented by Caipirinha Productions, in color, in multiple languages with English subtitles, and is supported by a website,

Previous films by Iara Lee and George Gund III include the feature-length documentaries of ‘Modulations’ (1998), and ‘Synthetic Pleasures’ (1996). They have also collaborated on the short films ‘Prufrock’, ‘Architettura’, ‘Beneath the Borqa’, ‘An Autumn Wind’, and ‘The Battle for Xingu’. 


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