Thursday, January 14, 2016

‘Coup’ film a winner in 2000

Filmfest has recognized many significant works through the years and prominent among them was "A Coup Made in America," from Barna-Alper Productions, Toronto. The production won a Gold Camera in the 2000 competition. 

The film was part of a series, “Turning Points of History,’ and traced how in 1954 U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and his brother, Allen, the director of the CIA, overthrew the democratically elected president of Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz. They did it to stop the spread of communism, and for bananas.  

Arbenz made the mistake of expropriating land from the American United Fruit Company and distributing it to landless peasants. By doing so, he was branded a Soviet agent and a dangerous enemy to U.S. security. The intervention of the CIA in Guatemala led to the 36-year civil war from 1960-1996. 

Writers and co-directors on “Coup” were Alan Mendelsohn and Nadine Pequeneza, who continue to be active in film. Barna-Alper is now part of eOne Television. Alan Mendelsohn is president, CEO and founder of Just a Minute Words & Pictures, Toronto. Nadine Pequeneza has continued directing award-winning documentaries, including “Inside Disaster Haiti.” 

The "Coup"film is available on YouTube,