Director: Jayro Bustamante
Guatemala/France | 2015 |  Kaqchikel with English subtitles | 93 min

View in-person at The Cinematheque: Sunday, Aug 28, 6:30 PM

The brilliant debut by Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante is a mesmerizing fusion of fact and fable, a dreamlike depiction of daily life that takes place in the heart of a Kaqchikel Mayan community in the Guatemalan highlands. Seventeen-year-old Maria lives with her parents near a coffee plantation at the base of an active volcano. As the date of her arranged marriage approaches, she feels increasingly torn between the bonds of tradition and family and her own desire to see what lies on the other side of the volcano. Ancient rituals, ancestral beliefs and the ravenous urban world all meet in this splendid and moving story of a young woman’s contradictory desire both to shape her own future and to fulfill the wishes of her community.

“An ethereal masterpiece whose breathtaking beauty is layered with sociopolitical undertones.” -Carlos Aguilar, IndieWire

María, joven maya de 17 años, vive sobre las laderas de un volcán activo en Guatemala. Un matrimonio arreglado la espera. Aunque María sueña con ver la ¨gran ciudad,¨ su condición de mujer Kaqchikel no le permite cambiar su destino. Más tarde, una complicación la obliga a salir al mundo moderno, que le salva la vida pero a un precio demasiado alto. El brillante debut del director Jayro Bustamante, ha puesto al cine centroamericano en la mira del cine mundial.

Jayro Bustamante (Guatemala, 1977) trained as a director in Guatemala, Paris, and Rome. His short film, When I am grown-up, debuted at Clermont-Ferrand where it won the CNC quality award, and was broadcast on French, Swedish, and Dutch television. His debut feature film, Ixcanul, won 16 international film awards, including the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin Film Festival. He is also the director of the highly acclaimed Temblores (2019) and La Llorona (2019), both screening at VLAFF this year.