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Watch: ‘Ixcanul’ Trailer Reveals the Ethereal Mysticism of Guatemala’s Award-Winning Oscar Entry

Watch: 'Ixcanul' Trailer Reveals the Ethereal Mysticism of Guatemala's Award-Winning Oscar Entry


With visually poetic sensibilities and naturalistic performances, director Jayro Bustamante crafted an authentic coming-of-age story centered on a Mayan

Kaqchikel girl in his spellbinding feature debut “Ixcanul.” Through the mystical beliefs and humble lifestyle of his homeland’s indigenous people, Bustamante tackles larger sociopolitical concerns that leave the Mayan population, in particular women, isolated and perpetuate discrimination. Masterfully intimate and spectacularly shot, “Ixcanul” is the most important Latin American debut of the year and one that American audiences should seek out when it hits theaters stateside in 2016.

Among numerous prizes around the world, the film won the Alfred Bauer Award at this year’s Berlinale and was selected as Guatemala’s Oscar entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards.

“Ixcanul” will have its New York premiere on Friday January 8,2016  as part of the  Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Neighboring Scenes: New Latin American Cinema festival co-presented with Cinema Tropical.

Kino Lorber is planning a first quarter release for the film. 

READ MORE: ‘Ixcanul’ Director Jayro Bustamante on the Strength of Mayan Women and Guatemala’s Indigenous Majority

Here is the official synopsis:

In this dreamlike fusion of documentary and fable, two young, impoverished Mayan lovers escape from their servitude on a remote Guatemalan coffee plantation and attempt to make their way to the United States.
Maria, a 17-year-old Mayan girl, lives and works with her parents on a coffee plantation in the foothills of an active volcano (which translates to Ixcanul, in the Mayan language) in Guatemala. An arranged marriage awaits her, as she has been promised to the plantation overseer by her parents. But Maria has other plans for her life. 
Pepe, an ambitious young coffee cutter who intends to migrate to the US, becomes the way out of her constrained world. 
Maria seduces Pepe in order to run away with him, but after promises and clandestine meetings, Pepe leaves her pregnant, alone and in disgrace. After several attempts to terminate her unwanted pregnancy (using her mother’s ancestral knowledge) fail to work, Maria finds herself with a new set of challenges in her future.

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