October 3 // Volcano (Ixcanul) 

6:30 pm.
ACMI cinemas 


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.

María is a 17-year-old Kaqchikel Maya who works with her parents on a coffee plantation in the shadow of the eponymous volcano. She is set to be married to the farm’s foreman, a loveless match that will at least protect the livelihood of her parents. But María is secretly working on other plans that will take her away from traditional life – and towards a startling contradiction of the natural order as she understands it.

"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
"A fascinating blend of modernity and ritual."
The Guardian

Director: Jayro Bustamante 
Country: Guatemalan co-production
Year: 2015 
Duration: 91 mins
Classification: 18+ 
Kaqchikel/Spanish with English subtitles

WINNER: Silver Bear Prize, Berlin Film Festival, 2015
Guatemala’s first ever Academy Awards entry for Best Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards.