Previously at the ICA - Films
16 Oct 2015
BFI London Film Festival: 238 films. From 71 countries. 16 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.
Winner of a Silver Bear at this year’s Berlinale, this distinctive debut feature by Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante recounts the story of a young Mayan woman living with her parents near the edge of a volcano. Maria (a luminous debut from non-actor María Mercedes Coroy) is promised in marriage to the foreman of the coffee plantation where the family works, but she yearns for an unreliable coffee-cutter who is patently unworthy of her affection.
When she becomes pregnant by him, this precipitates a harsh transition from the traditional way of life—with its superstitions and reliance on ritual—to a nearby city, where navigating a Western-style hospital proves an insurmountable challenge. Arrestingly filmed, this astutely observed drama has an unexpected twist in the way it frames the clash of civilisations at the heart of its story and was made in collaboration with a real Mayan farming community from the Guatemalan highlands.
(Notes by Clare Stewart)
Ixcanul (Volcano), dir. Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala, France 2015, 90 mins.
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