Distributed by Fanlight Productions, 4196 Washington, Suite 2, Boston, MA 02131; 800-937-4113
DVD, color, 40 min., Spanish with English subtitles
Sr. High - Adult
Central American Studies, Child Development, Death and Dying
Reviewed by Barb Bergman, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Date Entered: 2/22/2010
Montaña de Luz (Mountain of Light) shows a vignette of life at this orphanage for HIV-positive children in Honduras. When the project began, the facility was intended to be a children’s hospice, but drug therapy has allowed most of these children to live happily and to have a chance of growing up. However, the story of one child who did not survive is also included.
Thirteen-year-old Evelyn charmingly describes herself and the other children. The children are seen interacting with surviving relatives and the tias and tios (honorary aunts and uncles) who help care for the children. Commentary is provided by the American project coordinators. The where-are-they –now notes during the end credits add nicely to Evelyn’s earlier descriptions.
As a project, Montaña de Luz is interesting. The film’s production values are adequate. Unfortunately the film fails to engage the viewer. Although only 40 minutes in length, the film nonetheless feels overly long because it lacks clear narrative structure. Information about Montaña de Luz that was more informative and more engaging was easily acquired online; for example, a video on Ohio State’s website that describes on-site service projects conducted by OSU engineering students.