Posts Tagged ‘films about Guatemala’

Happy birthday, Rigoberta Menchu

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Happy 59th birthday to 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner and K’iche’ activist Rigoberta Menchu. Today is a good day to post a clip from the 1983 documentary she narrated, When the Mountains Tremble. Menchu’s voice throughout is riveting, beginning with these opening sentences–”My name is Rigoberta Menchu… I’m going to tell you my story, which is the story of all Guatemalan people.”

My family owns the DVD, but the film is probably available elsewhere on line.

When the Mountains Tremble is directed by Pamela Yates, who continues to make important documentaries about Guatemalan history, including Granito and 500 Years.



Ixancul, film by Jayro Bustamante

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

On Saturday, a group of us GuateMamas met at the Landmark Theater in Berkeley to watch Ixcanul, the prize-winning film by Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamonte, the first movie in the Kaqchikel language.

First, it was amazing to hear film dialogue spoken in Kaqchikel. Second, to see the landscape of Guatemala on the big screen–especially the magnificent volcano Pacaya, where much of the footage was shot, which we recognized and have climbed–was thrilling.

The plot centers around teenager Maria, who loves a boy who works with her at the local coffee plantation, but the boy has plans to leave for the US. Maria’s parents have plans too: to marry off Maria to the relatively prosperous plantation foreman. Spoiler alert: A baby is involved, and an adoption.

We GuateMamas had much to discuss after the film, and my prediction is we’ll continue the conversation next time we meet. If Ixancul is playing anywhere near you, Go. Go!

Watch the trailer here.