Directed by Jayro Bustamante

Release Year: 2015
Running Time: 91
Color Type: Color
Country: Guatemala, France
Language: Kaqchikel, Spanish
Closed Captioned: No
Subtitles: English
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Screening Info
Marvin Coroy
Justo Lorenzo
Manuel Antun
Maria Telon
Maria Mercedes Coroy

Directed by Jayro Bustamante

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.

Critical Acclaim

**** (Four stars) "A fascinating blend of modernity and ritual." -The Guardian

"A powerful and highly accomplished debut deserving recognition. Moreover, with its social realist focus on Guatemala’s contemporary Mayan population, it offers a portrait of a largely unseen community refreshingly free of exoticism (the remarkable unprofessional cast helped co-write the script). -Filmmaker Magazine

"Jayro Bustamante’s Ixcanul was a genuine discovery, as this is not only the director’s first feature, but also the first film made in the Kaqchikel Mayan language..." -Senses of Cinema

"Bustamante’s film is downright Herzogian (far more than Herzog’s own “Queen of the Desert”) in its surfeit of physical detail, observed ritual and looming clash of civilizations." -Variety


  • Guatemala's entry for the Academy Awards, Best Foreign Language Film

    Winner Silver Bear, Berlin Film Festival 2015

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