A Place Called Chiapas is a Canadian documentary of first-hand accounts of the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) the (Zapatista Army of National Liberation or Zapatistas) and the lives of its soldiers and the people for whom they fight. Director Nettie Wild takes the viewer to rebel territory in the southwestern Mexican state of Chiapas, where the EZLN live and evade the Mexican Army.
On January 1, 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army–made up of impoverished Mayan Indians from the state of Chiapas–took over five towns and 500 ranches in southern Mexico. The government deployed its troops, and at least 145 people died in the ensuing battle. Fighting for indigenous Mexicans to regain control over their lives and the land, the Zapatistas and their charismatic leader, guerilla poet Subcomandante Marcos, began sending their message to the world via the Internet. The result was what THE NEW YORK TIMES called “the world’s first postmodern revolution.” Years into the uprising, filmmaker Nettie Wild traveled to the jungle canyons of southern Mexico to film the elusive and fragile life of the rebellion. Her camera effectively and movingly captures the personal stories behind a very public clash of traditional culture and globalization.