"Guatemala's first-ever Oscar entry is an absorbing, beautifully-shot drama of cultural ritual and the drive of one young woman to escape a rudimentary social system." - Film Stage

“The phrase ‘ethnographic film’ may be outdated, and perhaps even condescending, but for those drawn to cinema from diverse origins, wishing to learn more about other cultures, Ixcanul is a delicious, strong brew.

“On a Guatemalan coffee plantation on the side of a volcano, a sharp young Mayan woman, Maria, is unsure if she wants to continue with her family’s traditions or take a step into the wider world. That conflict is hardly a new one, but the performances, location photography and matter-of-fact look at local customs make Jayro Bustamante’s debut film a knock-out.

“What’s most striking about Ixcanul is the elegant way in which it is shot. Scenes are given space, and the audience is allowed ample time to soak up the atmosphere. This is the type of movie that stays with you.” The Guardian


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