The Legend of La Llorona
La Llorona

Director: Jayro Bustamante

Guatemala | 2022 | Spanish, Mayan-Caqchickel; Mayan-Ixil with English subs | 98 min

View IN-PERSON at The Cinematheque: Sat, Sept 3, 9:00 pm

Golden Globe nominee for best Foreign Language film, 2021

With the words “if you cry, I’ll kill you” ringing in her ears, Alma and her children are killed in Guatemala’s armed conflict. Thirty years later, a criminal case is opened against Enrique, a retired general who oversaw the genocide. But the trial is declared a mistrial and he is acquitted, and La Llorona’s spirit is released to wander the world as a lost soul among the living. At night, Enrique begins to hear her cry. His wife and son believe he is suffering from bouts of dementia related to Alzheimer’s. Little do they suspect that their new housekeeper, Alma, is there to inflict the revenge that the trial failed to achieve.

A brilliant horror movie turns the guilt of a genocidal Guatemalan general into a gut-punch of a ghost story

Con las palabras «si llorás, te mataré» resonando en sus oídos, Alma y sus hijos son asesinados en el conflicto armado de Guatemala. Treinta años después, se abre una causa penal contra Enrique, un general retirado que supervisó el genocidio. Pero el juicio es declarado nulo y él es absuelto, y el espíritu de La Llorona se libera para vagar por el mundo como un alma perdida entre los vivos. Por las noches, Enrique comienza a escucharla llorar. Su esposa e hijo creen que está sufriendo accesos de demencia relacionados con el Alzheimer. No sospechan que su nueva ama de llaves, Alma, está allí para infligir la venganza que no logró el juicio.

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. Ixcanul won 16 international film awards, including the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin Film Festival.