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The ocean contains the history of all humanity. The sea holds all the voices of the earth and those that come from outer space. Water receives impetus from the stars and transmits it to ... See full summary »
Set on a remote Pacific island, covered in rain forest and dominated by an active volcano, this heartfelt story, enacted by the Yakel tribe, tells of a sister's loyalty, a forbidden love affair and the pact between the old ways and the new.
María, a seventeen-year-old Mayan (Kaqchikel) girl, lives on the slopes of an active volcano in Guatemala. An arranged marriage awaits her, but her suitor must first spend months working in the city. It is a world María knows nothing of, but is forced to grapple with when problems arise.
Ixcanul is an insightful and powerful film about Kaqchikel culture
Often times in Guatemala, you go watch a Guatemalan film solely for the sake of supporting your country. Ixcanul didn't feel that way, it is truly a film that transcends its origins and offers a story that feels universal. The story tackles topics such as agriculture, arranged marriages, pregnancy, among others. The film has a stunning cinematography and direction, which was quite impressive, some scenes do make use of the shaky camera method, which within context of what's happening in the film kind of make sense, however, they may feel a bit "out of place" considering the attention to detail that the rest of the film has.
Although all of the actors are debuting in this film, the acting is stellar, particularly from María Telón who commands the film and really delivers some of it's most powerful and emotionally effective scenes. In some instances, the actors don't need to speak for you to understand their feelings, almost like a silent picture. The Spanish-speaking actors are the only ones that I felt lacking, but their parts are minimal and are hardly detracting to the film.
Overall, Ixcanul is an eye-opener to people who are not familiar with the sad realities that the Kaqchikel people have to go through. It's the first film made in Guatemala that feels thought out, as well as culturally important and significant.
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