A group of shipwrecked West Africans that were intended to become slaves crash landed near St. Vincent during the early 1600s, and the Garifuna culture began as they mixed with the native Caribs and Arawak Indians. Half of the Garifuna people were wiped out after being exiled by the British two hundred years later, but against all odds this group with a mixed past lled with victory, war, death, and exile continue to exist today in Central America. But this culture that has for so long proven itself to be resilient to extinction now faces a new challenge: its children are increasingly apathetic toward retaining their language and culture as the world becomes more “Western”, and the culture is now feared to be dying.
I AM GARIFUNA is the journey of Milton Guity, Jr., a young Garifuna man from New York who travels to Central America and the Caribbean to experience life as a young Garifuna man. His father, a teacher of the language and culture, serves as a tour guide showing his son, and our audience, how Garifuna people live today and how they managed to survive for so many years. The lm is an exploration of a widely unknown culture through the eyes of a young man experiencing his own heritage rst hand for the rst time.
In 2001 UNESCO proclaimed the language, dance, and music of the Garifuna a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize. I AM GARIFUNA will share this visually and aurally stunning culture with audiences worldwide through the words, music, and actions of the surviving Garifuna people.
Who's Involved: Director: Milton Guity Jr; Producer: Wes Guity; Production Manager: Milton Guity Sr; Director of Photography: Adam Richlin