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Abstract Honduras

Catherine Sullivan and Farhad Sharmini introduce excerpts from the screenplay to their new film, The Last Days of British Honduras (2010). Ronald Tavel’s play The Last Days of British Honduras was produced only once, in 1974, at the Public Theater, as part of the New York Shakespeare Festival. In Tavel’s wide-ranging body of work – he wrote some of the most iconic Warhol movies (‘Vinyl’, 1965; ‘Chelsea Girls’, 1966); co-founded the Playhouse of the Ridiculous; won an Obie Award for The Boy on the Straight-Back Chair (1969); provoked an international scandal with Indira Ghandi’s Daring Device (1967) – Last Days stood out for us as especially eccentric: a slowly churning, highly discursive colonial Death in Venice scenario combined with light-comedic and magic-realist elements and placed in the nervy politico-ethnic context immediately preceding the 1971 British Honduras (now Belize) referendum on independence. This bid for independence was in fact rejected, even after the British administration had largely departed.