10 Guatemalan movies that deserve your attention

10 best Guatemalan movies | GuatexplorerI chose 10 good movies that depict the reality of life here in Guatemala. I put some limits on my search: all of them were made after the year 2000, and all of them have solid IMDb rating, although that rating was not crucial in the final selection. We start with the lowest IMDb rating to the greater ones.

Donde acaban los caminos (2004)

IMDb rating: 6.5

10 best films of Guatemala | Guatexplorer

Director: Carlos García Agraz

Writers: Reynaldo Leon, Mario Monteforte Toledo

Stars: Giacomo Buonafina, Herbert Ignacio, Audra Magermans

Genre: Drama

Language: Spanish

Plot: The doctor Raul Zamora goes on a trip from the city to a remote town in the lake Atitlán where these two parallel worlds converge between the "Naturals" and the "Ladinos". Zamora won't take long before falling in love with Maria Xahil, a "Natural", causing in the rest of the town and the villages a dilemma between the different communities. It's a panoramic vision of the abuse of power, repression and racism that collide in this diverse society surrounded by the calm of nature.

Puro Mula (2011)

IMDb rating: 6.7

10 best films of Guatemala | Guatexplorer

Director: Enrique Pérez Him

Writers: Ariel Escalante, Enrique Pérez Him

Stars: Domingo Lemus, Daneri Gudiel, Jairon Salguero

Genre: Comedy

Language: Spanish

Joel Fonseca is a 28-year-old slacker who gets up every morning to drink beer and play his guitar. One day his routine is interrupted by his older sister who asks him to take care of her 6-year-old kid. Joel thinks he can handle it but things get complicated when the kid disappears from the house. Joel will have to spend the rest of his day trying to find his nephew around his neighbourhood before his sister finds out. Along with this quest, he runs into different people from his past that will make him realise that he hasn't changed in the past ten years. Joel starts to think that it's time for a change. If only he could find his nephew...

La casa más grande del mundo (2015)

IMDb rating: 6.9

10 best films of Guatemala | Guatexplorer

Directors: Ana V. Bojorquez, Lucía Carreras

Writers: Ana V. Bojorquez, Edgar Sajcabún

Stars: Gloria López, María López, Elder Escobedo

Genre: Drama

Language: Spanish, Maya Mam

Rocio, a Maya Mam girl, lives in the mountains with her mother, who is pregnant and her granny. Due to an early delivery from her mother, Rocio is stuck with caring for a herd of sheep, the first time she has done it on her own. Playing in the mountains she loses one of the sheep. Looking for it, she will lose the rest of the herd. In the midst of this tragedy, Rocio will have to face her innocence, conquer her fear of fog and learn that freedom entails responsibility.

La casa de enfrente (2004)

IMDb rating: 7.0

10 best films of Guatemala | Guatexplorer

Director: Elías Jiménez Trachtenberg

Writers: Ray Figueroa, Manuel Rodríguez (as Manolito Rodríguez)

Stars: Yuliet Cruz, Maurice Echeverría, Juan Pablo Olyslager

Genre: Drama

Language: Spanish

The film is a story of love and corruption. During an audit carried out by the Ministry of Internal Investments, Ángel discovers that millions of quetzals have been diverted to ghost bank accounts. Thus, the minister tries to incorporate Angel in the circle of corruption, transporting him in different scenarios of power and money - in addition to marginality - in Guatemala after the war. In the midst of the whole situation, Angel meets Kiara, a Caribbean immigrant who after a long stay in the country is forced to work as a prostitute.

Lo que soñó Sebastián (2004)

IMDb rating: 7.1

10 best films of Guatemala | Guatexplorer

Director: Rodrigo Rey Rosa

Writers: Robert Fitterman, Rodrigo Rey Rosa

Stars: Andoni Gracia, Juliette Deschamps, Juan Carlos Vellido

Genre: Drama, War

Language: Spanish

Sebastian (Andoni Gracia) is a Spanish writer who inherits rain forest land in Guatemala. When he learns of a murder that has taken place on the land, he goes out to investigate. He discovers that a local family has been illegally hunting there for generations. Determined to protect the natural wildlife population, Sebastian gets involved in dangerous local politics.

Ixcanul (2015)

IMDb rating: 7.2

10 best films of Guatemala | Guatexplorer

Director: Jayro Bustamante

Writer: Jayro Bustamante

Stars: María Mercedes Coroy, María Telón, Manuel Antún

Genre: Drama

Language: Kaqchikel Maya - Spanish

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. During that time Maria stays pregnant and her life complicates.

Pol (2014)

IMDb rating: 7,2

10 best films of Guatemala | Guatexplorer

Director: 'Chofo' Rodolfo Espinosa

Stars: José Mariano Díaz Duarte, Chloe Figueroa, Fernando Martínez, Alejandro Ramos

Genre: Comedy

Language: Spanish

Pol and his Flaco Friend, two pre-teens, live a strenuous adventure at the Autonomous University of Guatemala (USAC), testing their friendship and learning a little about maturity, courage, family and love.

La bodega (2010)

IMDb rating: 7.3

10 best films of Guatemala | Guatexplorer

Director: Ray Figueroa

Writer: Ray Figueroa

Stars: Juan Pablo Olyslager, Luis Carlos Pineda, Fredy Turcios

Genre: Drama

Language: Spanish

A young woman is brutally assaulted by gang members in the middle of Guatemala City. As usual, the authorities have no suspects or leads, leaving the girl to become one more victim in a society where thousands of women are assaulted every year. Jacobo, the victim's brother, along with Antonio, his best friend, decide in their frustration to extract some their kind of revenge. They kidnap a random gang member from the streets and drive him to an abandoned warehouse, where they torture and beat him. But the consequences of their acts will soon become evident and they will have to make a decision that will affect their lives forever.

2+1 (2014)

IMDb rating: 8.0

10 best films of Guatemala | Guatexplorer

Director: Erick Gálvez

Writer: Erick Gálvez

Stars: Cecy Alburez, Juan Pablo Castillo, Ana María de Ruano

Genre: Comedy

Language: Spanish

Brandon (José Mariano Díaz) is the son of the butcher of the market. He is in love with Yuly (Cecy Alburez), the daughter of Doña Berta (Ana María de Ruano). One night, Yuly gives the news to Brandon that soon they will be parents. After regaining his sense of impression, he is very worried because he has to perform many important activities: earn more money, secure where to live, and the most dangerous of all; Ask the hand of Yuly to Don Hermelindo (Guillermo Monsanto), his future father-in-law along with the news of the pregnancy. After several unsuccessful attempts to do additional meat-sharing activities, he and his friend Maicol learn of a wrestling event where they offer a hefty sum of money for holding three minutes against the local wrestling champion, El Verraco (Joe Garcia). Brandon no longer has any alternatives so sign up to try his luck...

Evidencia invisible (2003)

IMDb rating: 8.1

10 best films of Guatemala | Guatexplorer

Director: Alejandro Castillo Close

Writer: Alejandro Castillo Close

Stars: R. Brandon Johnson, Arloa Reston, Jorge Pupo

Genre: Drama

Language: English, Spanish

Visiting American journalist Johnson finds more in Guatemala than he's bargained for. His reporter contact is missing and nobody's looking for him; his first assignment is to meet with priest Pupo, so fevered with the advent of Satan that he clobbers an altar boy he fears is possessed; but there's also love, in the form of nurse Arloa Reston but who is she meeting in the jungle? Cosmic discussions of good and evil, with Pupo and a nihilistic colleague, turn into a battle for survival with the still-lurking forces of repression.

An additional movie that you have to watch to understand an important part of Guatemalan history:

When the Mountains Tremble (1983)

IMDb rating: 8.0

10 best films of Guatemala | Guatexplorer

Country: USA

Directors: Newton Thomas Sigel, Pamela Yates

Stars: Rigoberta Menchú, Susan Sarandon

Genre: Documentary

Language: English | Spanish

A documentary on the war between the Guatemalan military and the Mayan population, with firsthand accounts by Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu.


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