Yo Soy Taino

Watch Yo Soy Taino

  • TV-PG
  • 2019
  • 13 min
  • 5.7  (22)

I Am Taino (Yo Soy Taino in Spanish) is a 2019 film that tells the story of a Taino woman named Guario. Guario is a descendant of the indigenous Taino people of Puerto Rico, who were almost eradicated by Spanish colonization in the late 15th century. The film portrays the struggles of Guario's community as they fight against displacement, poverty, and discrimination in modern-day Puerto Rico.

Throughout the film, Guario navigates her identity as a Taino woman in a predominantly colonized society. Her complex relation with her heritage is embodied by her grandfather, who is the only person in her family who still speaks the Taino language. Guario's grandfather is a resilient and inspiring figure who encourages her to embrace her culture and fight for her people's rights.

The plot thickens when a group of real estate developers threatens to demolish Guario's community to build luxury resorts. Guario, together with a group of social activists and indigenous leaders, start a campaign to defend their land and culture. The campaign leads them to confront political powers and corrupt business interests that have neglected the rights of the Taino people for centuries.

The conflict escalates as the developers start using violent tactics to intimidate the Taino community. Guario and her comrades brave through physical assaults and sabotage to protect their land and heritage. Meanwhile, Guario's personal life adds a layer of emotion to the story as she struggles with her relationship with her non-indigenous boyfriend, who initially doesn't understand her concerns and triggers.

The film's aesthetic choices provide a refreshing perspective on indigenous culture. One of the most visually striking aspects of the film is the use of the Taino language in the dialogue. The film-makers worked with Taino language experts to recreate the language as it originally sounded, giving a sense of authenticity to the storytelling. The film also features stunning shots of Puerto Rico's lush vegetation and vivid landscapes, displaying the beauty and serenity of the Taino culture.

Yo Soy Taino successfully explores an often-ignored history of Puerto Rico's indigenous people. The film portrays the Taino not as a people of the past but as a living, breathing culture fighting to survive in a modern world that has almost erased them. The film gives a voice to the silenced indigenous people and serves as a reminder of their struggles and resilience.

The performances of the film's actors are also noteworthy. Sely Collazo's portrayal of Guario is powerful and convincing, as she captures the internal struggle of reconciling her modern life with her cultural roots. Frankie Cordero's performance as Guario's grandfather is emotional and inspiring, highlighting the role of elders in passing on cultural knowledge to future generations. Amneris Morales's portrayal of Guario's mother also adds a layer of complexity to the story, as she represents the conflicts of indigenous people who have assimilated into colonized cultures.

Ultimately, Yo Soy Taino is a film that delivers a powerful message of resistance, resilience, and pride. It shows how indigenous cultures are still present in modern societies and how they are fighting for their rights and recognition. The film raises awareness about the Taino culture and its significance, not only for Puerto Rico but for the whole of Latin America.

Yo Soy Taino
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    13 min
  • IMDB Rating
    5.7  (22)