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The Train and the Peninsula

The Train and the Peninsula

Sky Richards & Andreas Kruger Foncerrada / Mexico / 2023

A thoughtful and sensuous tour along Mexican train tracks on the Yutacán Peninsula, where a new, large-scale railway project threatens the indigenuos Mayan culture and the nature around them.

Trains used to run on the beautiful Mexican peninsula of Yucatán. Now the railway tracks have been overrun by plants and weeds, and the trains are deserted and rusty. But this is about to change, as the gigantic ‘Tren Maya’ railway project is underway. The project is controversial, as Yucatán is the cradle of Mayan culture, and the train line is planned to run right through the heart of their territory. ‘The Train and the Peninsula’ is a cinematic journey along the planned train line, stopping along the way to listen to the fascinating reflections of the peninsula’s inhabitants on the environmental and social consequences of the project, and to tell the story of the city of Cancún, which was established in 1978 with the sole purpose of capitalising on its overwhelming beauty to attract tourists, now numbering six million a year. Through archival clips and new footage, the film becomes a kaleidoscopic tour of the vast peninsula, into the wisdom of the Mayans and the ideological and territorial struggles that so-called progress brings with it.