Winner of the Alfred Bauer Prize for a feature film that opens new perspectives at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival.
Living and working on a coffee plantation on the side of the Ixcanul volcano in Guatemala's Kaqchikel Maya region, 17-year-old Maria longs for a different life. An arranged marriage to her older boss looms; however Maria's dreams of running away to the US with a fellow worker further cast her future in shadow.
Returning to the area of his youth, director Jayro Bustamante makes his feature debut with a stirring, visually sumptuous indigenous tale at once familiar and fable-like. That the film casts an anthropological eye over a marginalised culture isn't just a result of Bustamante's painstaking attention to routine and tradition, but of his collaboration with the community he depicts, with the non-professional cast and other locals helping shape the engagingly dramatic story from their own experiences.
"A powerful modern fable about the clash of civilizations … [and] a film that gives an urgent, original voice to a people too frequently marginalized in both movies and society at large." – Variety