500 Years: Life in Resistance
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Landmark E Street Cinema
555 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
(Entrance is on E St between 10th and 11th St)
The screening will be followed by a conversation with director Pamela Yates of human rights media organization Skylight and a representative of the International Mayan League, moderated by WOLA Senior Fellow and Guatemala expert Jo-Marie Burt and WOLA Director for Citizen Security Adriana Beltrán.
500 Years: Life in Resistance is the third film in Pamela Yates’ and Skylight Pictures’ trilogy on Guatemala, following When The Mountains Tremble (1983) and Granito: How to Nail a Dictator (2011), footage from which was used during the landmark prosecution of former dictator General José Efraín Ríos Montt for genocide and crimes against humanity. 500 Years is being screened as part of Filmfest DC special series Justice Matters, an international juried competition for films that expand awareness and understanding of social justice issues around the globe.
The film follows the twists and turns of the Ríos Montt trial, and tracks the popular uprising that led to the resignation of President Otto Pérez in 2015.According to Filmfest DC, “Yates’s camera is seemingly everywhere—in the Capital courtroom where former general and president Rios Montt is on trial for genocide, and in the mountains where families retreated to escape the army that killed or disappeared over 100,000 Mayans during the ‘secret war’… A very present-day story is intimately articulated by journalists and peasant leaders, farmers and intellectuals. Indigenous people, with their longing for justice, may just lead the way for all Guatemalans to find common cause in democracy.”
Ríos Montt, who oversaw some of the most brutal violence of Guatemala’s civil war in the 1980s, was the first former head of state prosecuted for genocide in a national court, setting a key precedent for international justice. At the time of his death on April 1, 2018, he was facing retrial on charges of crimes against humanity.
Watch the trailer for 500 Years here. We hope you are able to join us.
Film running time: 108 minutes
In Spanish, English and Mayan with English subtitles