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Before Columbus: Conversion

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Before Columbus is a series of three films, Invasion, Conversion, and Rebellion, which describe, "with a few stories that stand for so many," the Indigenous experience in the Americas during the past five centuries. Part Two, Conversion, shows that the European conquest of the Americas was not just a struggle for territory but a battle for souls. The priests were never far behind the conquistadors. Churches were built on the ruins of temples, sacred relics were plundered, and Indigenous children were forced to attend residential schools. This film recounts this tragic history but also shows that Indigenous spirituality has not been destroyed. It survives in the ceremonies of the Zuni, the rituals of the Maya, and the prayers of the Kogi Mamas.

1993, 50 min 11 s

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