La selva negra / The Modern Jungle

A film by Charles Fairbanks, Saul Kak

This film was screened as a part of the 2018 Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF21)

This feature was preceded by the short film Porgies & Bass


La selva negra


Mexico/USA, Documentary, 2016
71 min, Color
Zoque, Spanish with English subtitles

LA SELVA NEGRA is a portrait of globalization filtered through the fever dream of a Mexican shaman, Don Juan, who falls under the spell of a pyramid-scheme-marketed nutritional supplement. Juan’s neighbor Carmen lives a simple life, in harmony with the land her martyred husband paid for with his life. LA SELVA NEGRA documents their struggles and encounters with outside forces: from capitalism and commodity fetish, to the culture of cinema and the directors of this film.

Austin Premiere


Charles Fairbanksand Saul KakLA SELVA NEGRA is directed by Charles Fairbanks (USA) and Saul Kak (Mexico). Kak is an internationally acclaimed painter, poet, native speaker of Zoque and activist for his people. Fairbanks’s short films have been awarded at Ann Arbor, Atlanta, and CPH:DOX, and have shown on POV and at Anthology Film Archives, Slamdance, Visions du Réel, and over 100 other festivals. For this project Fairbanks received support from the Guggenheim Foundation, MacDowell Colony, and the Wexner Art Center’s Film/Video Studio Program.



Producer: Charles Fairbanks, Saul Kak
Production Companies: Charles Fairbanks P. C.
Cinematographer: Charles Fairbanks
Editor: Charles Fairbanks
Sound Design: Paul Hill
Music: Hugo Paris (Lavender), Lorenzo Rodriguez Estrada
Cast: Juan Juarez Rodriguez, Carmen Echevarría Lopez

Print Source: Charles Fairbanks,