Subjetividades en ambientes conflictivos en América Latina
The brilliant debut by Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante is a mesmerizing fusion of fact and fable, a dreamlike depiction of the daily lives of Kaqchikel speaking Mayans on a coffee plantation at the base of an active volcano. Immersing us in its characters’ customs and beliefs, Ixcanul chronicles with unblinking realism, a disappearing tradition and a disappearing people.
Maria, a 17-year-old Mayan girl, lives and works with her parents on a coffee plantation in the foothills of an active volcano in Guatemala.
An arranged marriage awaits her: her parents have promised her to Ignacio, the plantation overseer. But Maria doesn’t sit back and accept her destiny.
Pepe, a young coffee cutter who plans to migrate to the USA becomes her possible way out. Maria seduces Pepe in order to run away with him, but after promises and clandestine meetings, Pepe takes off, leaving her pregnant, alone and in disgrace. There’s no time to lose for Maria’s mother, who thinks abortion is the only solution. Yet despite her mother’s ancestral knowledge, the baby remains, “destined to live.”
But destiny has more in store for Maria: a snakebite forces them to leave immediately in search of a hospital. The modern world Maria has so dreamt about will save her life, but at what price…
Languages: Kaqchikel and Spanish, with English subtitles
Trailer and Poster:
The Spanish Film Club series was made possible with the support of Pragda, and the Embassy of Spain in Washington DC, Spain-USA Foundation. Special thanks to the Secretary of State for Culture of Spain.
Additional co-sponsors include:
The Center for Latin American Studies, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Center for Ethnic Studies, the Department of History, the Department of Theater, Film, and Media Arts, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Office of International Affairs.