Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When the Mountains Tremble (Sigel & Yates, 1983): Mini-Film Review

The 1983 documentary When the Mountains Tremble (Sigel & Yates) features and recounts the story of Rigoberta Menchú. Menchú's story here, just as in her testimonio I Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala, is the story of Guatemala amid civil war. By some accounts, the years from 1980-1983 were the worst of the conflict, labeled genocide by the United Nations (1). Winner of a Special Jury Prize at Sundance, this doc presents multiple first-hand images and interviews of the struggle. While the editing and pace of the film may feel slow and dated today, the impact of hearing Menchú's voice over images of poverty remains a powerful combination.

1) Thanks to scholar Daniel Quirós for this information.

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