On the slopes of an active volcano in Guatemala, a marriage is arranged for seventeen-year-old María by her Kaqchikel parents.

France, Guatemala 2015
  • Czech
100 min.
  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia, Slovakia.

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.

Read more
Director: Jayro Bustamante
Screenplay: Jayro Bustamante
Cinematography: Luis Armando Arteaga
Music: Pascual Reyes
Sound: Eduardo Cáceres Staackmann
Editing: Cesar Diaz
Producer: Jayro Bustamante, Marina Peralta, Pilar Peredo, Edgard Tenembaum
Costumes: Sofia Lantan
Cast: María Mercedes Coroy, María Telón, Manuel Manuel Antún, Fernando Martínez, Justo Lorenzo, Marvin Coroy

Berlin International Film Festival

2015 – Jayro Bustamante (Alfred Bauer Award)

Montréal Festival of New Cinema

2015 – María Mercedes Coroy (Acting Award)

Mumbai Film Festival

2015 – Jayro Bustamante (Golden Gateway Award)

Mumbai Film Festival

2015 – María Telón (Achievement in Acting)

  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia, Slovakia.