Film Review: Guatemala – On the Edge of Discovery

By Jackie Spafford

Directed and narrated by traveler and filmmaker Brent Winebrenner, Guatemala: On the Edge of Discovery provides an overview of the country’s many irresistible attractions. Lusciously photographed in vivid color, the documentary introduces the viewer to many aspects of the nation: its geography, climate, history, customs, and much more.

Seasoned travelers will recognize the pull, while anyone considering a first visit will be convinced.

The filmmakers look at the unique aspects of each region, such as the Peten region, and its many Mayan archeological remains; the lush Pacific coastal region and Piedmonte with its diverse plants and animals; the Rio Dulce region with its broad river and Caribbean culture; and the Highlands’s agricultural region with its high plateaus, volcanic mountains, massive Lake Atitlan and most populous cities.

There are highlights of folklore, ceremonies and traditions, religion, food, and language. We are also given some fascinating background on the archaeological discoveries of the stunning Mayan cities and culture.

Throughout the film there are cautions about climate change, poor land management, migration, criminal organizations, foreign governments, and other threats to the stability of the country, its people, and its natural resources.

The film covers a lot of territory – the content could probably fill a short series – but will give the viewer a solid base, and most likely a strong desire to visit Guatemala.

Guatemala from brent winebrenner on Vimeo.

A FREE screening of “Guatemala: On the Edge of Discovery” will take place on Thursday, February 23rd from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Faulkner Room at Santa Barbara’s Main Library. Click here for more information.

Jackie Spafford

Written by Jackie Spafford

Jackie Spafford is an independent film consultant and contributes film reviews for

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