Weekend Edition Sunday recently included a conversation between journalist extraordinaire Lulu Garcia-Navarro and filmmaker Max Walker-Silverman. His 2020 film Chuj Boys of Summer explores the experiences of several high-school friends who had moved to Telluride from Guatemala. They discuss how the film emerged from those friendships.
The short film is almost entirely in Chuj, the language spoken in Guatemala and now in Colorado. The film captures the increasingly common experience of migrants who are linguistically two steps removed from the communities they are entering. Even those who are attempting to welcome them are sometimes oblivious to the fact that they do not speak Spanish.
More profoundly, the film addresses the notion of belonging: to whom do the hills and the air of a place blong? Are we willing to divide people -- not only from each other but from their very personhood -- in the interest of reducing the price of work?