‘La Llorona’ Film Review: Jayro Bustamante Examines Real-Life Historical Horror in Impressive Third Feature

  • The Wrap
‘La Llorona’ Film Review: Jayro Bustamante Examines Real-Life Historical Horror in Impressive Third Feature
For his third and most tonally adventurous feature to date, socially perceptive writer-director Jayro Bustamante repurposes one of Latin America’s most ubiquitous supernatural legends to fiercely examine genocide against indigenous people in his native Guatemala. Invoking genre narrative devices, the entrancingly evocative “La Llorona” (“The Weeping Woman”) walks between fact and myth to engender a shrewdly frightening piece of political horror.

Sadistic military dictator General Enrique Monteverde (Julio Diaz), a fictionalized incarnation of the country’s former president Efraín Ríos Montt, stands accused of sanctioning the murder of thousands of Maya Ixil people in the Central American nation between 1982 and 1983. Battling health complications but still refusing to accept any fault, Monteverde is found guilty thanks to the courageous testimony of Ixil women still mourning their dead. Bustamante shoots the courtroom as a spiritual confessional devoid of natural light.

Notwithstanding the evidence, Monteverde’s accomplices in power swiftly dismiss the verdict against the ailing villain.
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