UNLOCKING THE SECRETS OF AN ANCIENT CIVILIZATION
BREAKING THE MAYA CODE
For a people to lose their history is a tragedy; to recover it, a miracle.
Available on DVD beginning September 16, 2008
For almost 2000 years, the ancient Maya of Central America recorded their history and ideas in an intricate and beautiful hieroglyphic script. Then, in the 16th century, Spanish invaders burned their books and ruthlessly extinguished hieroglyphic literacy. By the 18th century, when stone inscriptions were discovered buried in the jungles of Central America, no one on earth could read them.
BREAKING THE MAYA CODE, the story of the 200-year struggle to unlock the lost secrets of this ancient civilization, will be available on DVD on September 16th.
Based on archaeologist Michael Coe’s book, called by The New York Times “one of the great stories of twentieth century scientific discovery,” this amazing detective story is filled with false leads, rivalries and colliding personalities. It takes us from the jungles of Guatemala to the bitter cold of Russia, from ancient Maya temples to the dusty libraries of Dresden and Madrid.
The heroes of the story are an extraordinary group of men and women: linguists and mathematicians, artists and adventurers, archeologists and eccentrics - each finding a different piece of the puzzle. They include an English photographer, a German librarian, a Russian soldier, a California newspaperman, and an art teacher from Tennessee. An 18-year-old boy, immersed in the glyphs since early childhood, makes the final breakthrough.
The deciphered texts reveal an epic history of alliances and betrayals, powerful rulers, brilliant generals and sophisticated artist-scribes. They also unveil a world of kings and queens who shed and burned their blood to invoke the Vision Serpent, and an intricate cosmology that weaves together the lives of humans, the deeds of mythic heroes and the cycles of the planets and the stars. For the six million Maya living today the decipherment is a doorway to the past – uniting them with their own lost history and opening up an invaluable treasure for all of us.
Director DAVID LEBRUN has served as producer, director, writer, cinematographer, animator and/or editor of more than sixty films, among them films on the Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca, a 1960s traveling commune, Tibetan mythology and a year in the life of a Maya village. He edited the Academy Award winning documentary Broken Rainbow, on the Hopi and Navajo of the American Southwest. Lebrun’s experimental and animated works include the animated film Tanka (1966), works for multiple and variable-speed projectors such as Wind Over Water (1983), and a 2007 multimedia performance piece, Maya Variations, in collaboration with composer Yuval Ron.
DVD Bonus Features: Production Scrapbook • Director Biography • Resources
“One of the great stories of twentieth century scientific discovery!”
-THE NEW YORK TIMES (ON MICHAEL COE'S BOOK, BREAKING THE MAYA CODE)
“Mind-blowing stuff!” - MAUI FILM FESTIVAL
BREAKING THE MAYA CODE
116 Minutes, Color, 2007
Catalog #: FRF 913423D
Suggested Retail Price: $24.95 (US & CANADA)
Pre-book: August 12, 2008
Street Date: September 16, 2008
Visit David Lebrun’s website for more about Breaking the Maya Code and Proteus: