This feature documentary is a curious example of the mid-20th century ethnographic film and its depiction of non-Western peoples. We begin our tour of Central and South America in the Caribbean and move along to the vast agricultural and urban locales of Mexico, a socio-economic profile of the so-called “banana republics”, and the rich oil fields of Venezuela and its neighbours. Across the vast Andes mountain range and down towards the coffee industry in Colombia, we continually see the contrast between Spanish colonial architecture and the ruins of ancient Indigenous temples. The film shows the proud history of twenty republics and their growing unrest.
Background to Latin America, , provided by the National Film Board of Canada