JUSTICE MATTERS

La Llorona

JAYRO BUSTAMANTE
Guatemala, 2019
97 minutes, Color

In Latin American lore, La Llorona is a haunting figure destined to weep for eternity for her children who died by her own hand. If you hear her cries, things are not going well for you. In Jayro Bustamante's luminous film, present-day Guatemala weeps for its children, the Mayan-Ixils, who were killed in a 1980s extermination campaign, genocide hiding under the skirts of a 36-year civil war. A general's genocide trial becomes a crucible of revelation for his family and a test of will for the indigenous protestors camped at their gate. Enter Alma, the new maid, who mourns her children lost all those years ago. Through Alma, Bustamante (Ixcanul, FFDC 2016) weaves magical realism and a ghost story into politics to show how the past haunts the present; history is a séance in which all Guatemalans touch hands. Without reconciliation, the country may go on weeping eternally.—Judy Bloch

In Spanish, Mayan-Kaqchikel, and Mayan-Ixil with English subtitles


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