Winner of Best First Film at the 6th Annual Cinema Tropical Awards
Guatemala/France. Dir. Jayro Bustamante. 2015, 93 mins. In Kaqchikel and Spanish with English subtitles. With María Mercedes Coroy, María Telón, Manuel Antún. Winner of the Berlinale’s Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize—the top honor ever won by a Central American film—Ixcanul marks the auspicious debut of Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante. The film follows María (played by María Mercedes Coroy), a 17-year-old Mayan girl who lives and works in a coffee plantation that sits at the base of an active volcano in Guatemala. Although Maria dreams of going to the big city, her condition as an indigenous woman does not permit her to change her destiny, where an arranged wedding is waiting for her. A snake bite forces her to go out into the modern world where her life is saved, but at a steep price. Ixcanul is a beautiful and poignant meditation on the clash between tradition and modernity.
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