500 Years: Life in Resistance
Directed by: Pamela Yates
2017 | USA | 106 minutes
Saturday, November 23, 2019, 7pm
From a historic genocide trial to the ousting of a president, 500 Years tells a sweeping story of mounting resistance played out in Guatemala’s recent history, through the actions and perspectives of the majority indigenous Mayan population, who now stand poised to re-imagine their society.
In 500 Years the Mayans lead Guatemala to a historical tipping point, from the genocide trial of former dictator General Rios Montt to the citizen’s uprising that toppled President Otto Pérez Molina. While indigenous peoples of Guatemala are no strangers to oppression, with the recent events that took place over a tumultuous three-year span, change finally seems possible when their movement is met with the general public’s will to end corruption.
500 Years also introduces the music of up-and-coming Mayan singer/songwriter Sara Curruchich, who sings Ralk’wa’l ulew (Children of the Land in Mayan language Kaqchikel) at the close of the film.
As witness to this heroic moment in Guatemalan history, 500 Years documents the beginning of the end of a culture of impunity and a society ready for change. Focusing on universal themes of justice, racism, power and corruption, 500 Years resonates throughout the Americas—from Canada to Tierra del Fuego.