Seventeen-year-old María lives with her parents in a rough structure in the foothills of an active volcano, where her father supervises a coffee plantation. As the film opens, María sees two pigs refusing to mate, and she might have to forcefeed them rum to ensure a successful copulation. In Bustamante’s film the rugged landscape, in which humans manage as best they can, forms a ravishing backdrop to the progress of María’s sexual maturity. The girl likes a boy from the plantation, and she’d be happy to leave with him for the States, but her parents have a better catch. “I spent my childhood in the Guatemalan highlands, land of the Maya, surrounded by volcanoes and ancient indigenous traditions,” says the director, who accompanied his mother on her medical campaigns o convince Mayan women to vaccinate their children. Bustamante focuses on the faces of nonactors and the lives of the characters, and thus skillfully avoids the clichés of ethnographic filmmaking. In addition to the truly stunning wide-angle cinematography, the movie is engaging for its sophisticated soundtrack that blends folk music with authentic ambient sound. (KVIFF)
In cooperation with
DAFilms.com is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.