Join us for a screening of a documentary film fine cut. Director David Lebrun will attend. The completed film will be released this summer by Night Fire Films. Major funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Over the past fifty years, beautifully carved sculptures and exquisitely painted ancient Maya ceramics have flooded into the world's public and private collections. The images and texts have opened windows onto Maya life, literature, mythology, and history. Because most of these came to light by looting, however, they also raise profound practical and ethical questions.
A Painted World is a feature documentary that celebrates the artistry of these monuments and vases and explores the tangled moral and economic issues involved in the excavation, collection, and study of ancient Maya art, as well as the breakthroughs that are illuminating the meanings of these precious objects.
The story is told through interviews with archaeologists, villagers, and former looters in Central America; scholars unlocking the meaning of hieroglyphs and scenes painted by master Maya artists; scientists using a nuclear reactor to determine the chemical composition of ancient ceramics; and art dealers, collectors, and museum curators—including Princeton University Art Museum curator Bryan R. Just.