La Llorona de los Cafetales, a 7:30 minutes videoclip by Jayro Bustamante, starring María Mercedes Coroy and featuring Gaby Moreno's version of the traditional song La Llorona was released in February 2020 as the film's official trailer. See more »
All the hatred, all the talking about bad things must leave... Negative energy, I ask you to leave this house for the sake of the family. Ancestors please help us understand who wants to harm us. Protect us from all evil, make all evil go away.
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A crafty political drama in the bottle of a horror myth, but nothing unpredictable.
In his third film, Guatemalan maverick director Jayro Bustamante has crafted a modern-day story in the backdrop of the 1982 genocide of indigenous Mayan population under dictator Efraín Ríos Montt's command. The story is of an ageing dictator (based on Montt) and his family of wife, daughter and granddaughter, that finally encounter people's wrath. Told from the viewpoint of the dictator's family members, it could have been a pretty straightforward political story of repercussions, atonement, justice and truth finally catching up. And there was enough scope in the story itself to do both -- firmly ascertain an anti-fascist political stance, and yet portray the dictator and his family with adequate empathy. But Bustamante chose to package this inside the popular mythological horror story of 'the weeping woman', exactly to achieve what - I am not too sure.
The film is beautifully shot, edited and acted. There was adequate suspense and thrill in the film's more horror-ish sequences. The blue-lit nighttime shots, tracking shots in the dark, long dark hair, overflow of water, long creepy stares, jump scares with increasing background sounds, candle-lit invocations of spirits -- all sorts of horror film cliches were used. Rather than adding anything to the story (apart from a bit increased viewership of some horror-film enthusiasts who would ultimately be disappointed), I personally felt that these kind of reduced the film into something less serious and less sincere. The film starts off excellently, but loses its focus after around an hour. To sustain its horror movie potential, the story needed some sort of unpredictability. But this is history, and we all know how histories of this nature finally turn out. There is no suspense in justice. One can only sensationalize it.
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