Winner, Silver Bear, Berlin Film Festival, 2015
Downright Herzogian . . . in its surfeit of physical detail, observed ritual, and looming clash of civilizations.Scott Foundas, Variety
Winner, Silver Bear, Berlin Film Festival 2015
María Mercedes Coroy, María Telón, Manuel Antún, Justo Lorenzo,
Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante has been widely praised for this debut feature, scripted in collaboration with a cast of mostly nonprofessional actors. Ixcanul follows the experiences of seventeen-year-old María (María Mercedes Coroy) and her family, who are Kaqchikel-speaking Mayans working on a coffee plantation at the base of an active volcano. Bustamante mixes a near-documentary style with dreamlike expression inspired by fables. Ultimately, the tensions that arise in the drama speak to the larger plight of indigenous people in contemporary Guatemala; the film offers “a portrait of a largely unseen community refreshingly free of exoticism” (Giovanni Marchini Camia, Filmmaker Magazine).