Documentary film series shakes mountains

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City University Documentary Film Series continues at 2 p.m. April 10 in the Kerr McGee Auditorium with Pamela Yates and Thomas Sigel’s “When the Mountains Tremble.”

The series is free to the public and is sponsored by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund. The auditorium is in Meinders School of Business at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue.

The 13th-annual documentary series is themed “Against Forgetting” and is named after a poetry anthology put together by Carolyn Forche, who is visiting OCU April 13. The collection of poems was written by people who have endured through major tragedies.

Harbour Winn, director of the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film & Literature at OCU, said the three documentaries were selected with the purpose of shedding light on some of the most difficult problems in the modern world.

“Our situations in America might seem hard to manage under a tough economy and political bickering, but people in other parts of the world are experiencing so much worse, with mankind deserving much of the blame,” Winn said. “These films will show the hardships of people in heavily populated Chinese regions, military violence against a native group in Guatemala and women struggling for their rights in Liberia. Hopefully, after seeing these films the audience will be moved to ask themselves what they should do to help those in need.”

“When the Mountains Tremble” won the Sundance Film Festival Jury Prize and the Blue Ribbon from the American Film Festival. It covers a war between the heavily armed Guatemalan military and the nearly defenseless Mayan population. The film includes live combat footage from the center of battles as it discusses the role of the U.S. government in providing money, arms and training to the Guatemalan forces.

The Human Rights Watch organization said of the film: “‘When the Mountains Tremble’ emerges as an active player in the present by becoming forensic evidence in a genocide case against a military dictator. In an incredible twist of fate, Yates was allowed to shoot the only known footage of the army as it carried out the genocide.”

The final film in the series will be April 17 with Gini Reticker’s “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.”

For more information call Winn at (405) 208-5472, e-mail him at or visit



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