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Savages in Foreign Lands: new film about the Guanches 

If you live in Tenerife or are a visitor to the island you may well have heard about the Guanches, the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands, who lived here before the Spanish Conquest. There are many theories about these mysterious people and their origins, including the idea that the Romans brought them to the island from North Africa and abandoned them.

A new documentary film with the title Savages in Foreign Lands, sets out to unravel the mystery of who the Guanches really were and what their culture was about. It is currently being screened in selected cinemas in Tenerife, La Palma and Gran Canaria. Directed by independent filmmaker Raphael Biss, with much of it shot on location in Tenerife and the Canary Islands, this fascinating documentary is a quest to find and reveal the truth about the Guanches.

There are many interviews on the subject of the Guanches that Biss conducted with academics and scholars, including Antonio Tejera Gaspar, a well-known expert on the prehistory of the Canary Islands. But as well as academic views on the Guanches, the film examines alternative theories about these people. For example, did the Guanches build pyramids? It is known that they mummified their dead. What sort of culture and civilisation did the Guanches have?

Over three years in the making, and now distributed by ZED, Savages in Foreign Lands is coming back to Tenerife where much of it was filmed. Catch it while you can and discover the world of the Guanches!

From 22 May, Savages in Foreign Lands will shown in Multicines Millennium, La Palma. Screenings also at: Cinema Guayres, Gran Canaria, Multiplex Monopol, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and Multiplex Tenerife.

By Steve Andrews