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Paraiso Antes Y Ahora (Paradise Then and Now)

Indigenous peoples worldwide struggle to save their languages, culture, land and traditions. As many of them lose their footing due to outside influences, they find themselves straddling the chasm between the old and the new as they watch the old slowly disappear. This film takes a look at a current day situation in Sayulita, Mexico, as the pueblo's original family members answer questions about their history and former lifestyle as fishermen and farmers, and what it has cost them by selling off their land to foreigners who have turned their tiny fishing pueblo into a hip, boho tourist and surfing destination. Was paradise then or now?

  • Bonnie Metzger
  • Bonnie Metzger
  • Bonnie Metzger
  • The original people of Sayulita, Mexico
    Key Cast
  • Daniel Eli Dronsfield
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    42 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Bonnie Metzger

Bonnie Metzger is an artist living and working in Sayulita, Mexico. Over the course of 12 years she has observed the 5 original families and their customs in this small fishing pueblo and the changes that have occurred as they have been pushed to the background as foreigners and the government turned Sayulita into a foremost surfing and tourist destination. As with other indigenous cultures worldwide, these original peoples struggle to maintain their customs as time and progress march on, creating a threat to yet another of the world's dying indigenous cultures.

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Director Statement

Sayulita has never had a documentation of its history until the film, Paraiso Antes y Ahora and the Sayulita Historic Project (Facebook) which I have spearheaded. The project includes a large mosaic wall on the facade of the Casa de la Cultura depicting the pueblo's history, and the Sayulita Photo Archive, an exhibition of original photographs of the pueblo and its original people dating back to the 1940s. As its elders continue to die off, its history hang by a thread, just as its traditions and culture struggle to survive as surfing, nightclubs, drugs, and tourism devour its past.