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13 Apr
Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 8:15 pm
Roxie Theater
Roxie Theater 3117 16th Street CA 94103 United States
16 Apr
Thu, Apr 16 at 8:00 pm
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
21 Apr
Tue, Apr 21 at 6:00 pm
Victoria Theatre


History suggests that bad people in power don’t pay for their misdeeds, but Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante’s new film proposes an alternative. Despite age and infirmity, Don Enrique Monteverde is being tried for sanctioning the murder of indigenous citizens. As the case and its ramifications rattle the Monteverde household, a beguiling new housekeeper arrives, sowing the mythic chaos suggested by the film’s title. With an ingenious and powerful vision, Bustamante imagines how unforgivable actions from the past can coruscate through generations into the present.

“For his third and most tonally adventurous feature to date, socially perceptive writer-director Jayro Bustamante repurposes one of Latin America’s most ubiquitous supernatural legends to fiercely examine genocide against indigenous people in his native Guatemala. Invoking genre narrative devices, the entrancingly evocative La Llorona walks between fact and myth to engender a shrewdly frightening piece of political horror.” –Carlos Aguilar, The Wrap

Director Jayro Bustamante

Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante is a writer and director, who made his debut with Ixcanul (2015), which won the Alfred Bauer Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. His second film, Tremors (2019), captured the Best Latin American Film Prize at the San Sebastián International Film Festival. La Llorona, winner of the Best Film award in the Venice Days sidebar of the Venice Film Festival, is his third feature.

“There are people who even say that there was no genocide [during the Guatemalan civil war] and I wanted to confront that idea, but I knew doing it as a drama would not be appealing to audiences who crave only entertainment. That’s why I had the idea of entering the film as a horror movie and then the metaphor of La Llorona as a Mother Earth crying for her children came in; it just fit perfectly,” –Jayro Bustamante, Remezcla

Film Details

Language Spanish, Mayan-Caqchickel, Mayan-Ixil

Year 2019

Runtime 96

Country Guatemala/France

Director Jayro Bustamente

Producer Jayro Bustamante, Gustavo Matheu, Georges Renand, Marina Peralta

Writer Jayro Bustamante, Lisandro Sánchez

Editor Jayro Bustamante, Gustavo Matheu

Cinematographer Nicolás Wong

Music Pascual Reyes

Cast María Mercedes Coroy, Sabrina De La Hoz, Julio Díaz