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When the Mountains Tremble

This new, updated version of the 1983 classic on war and social revolution in Guatemala is a vigorous and persuasive documentary. It describes the struggle of the largely Indian peasantry against a heritage of state and foreign oppression. Centered on the experiences of Rigoberta Menchú, a Quich Indian woman, the film knits a variety of forms— interviews, direct address, re-enactment, video transmission, and on the spot footage shot at great hazard— into a wide-ranging and remarkable cohesive epic canvas of the Guatemalan struggle. Despite the long history of oppression it depicts, the overall effect of the film is exhilarating; with clarity and energy it conveys the birth of a national and political awareness. "When the Mountains Tremble" was updated and re-released in 1992 when Rigoberta Menchú won the Nobel Peace Prize. The film now includes what happened in Guatemala in the intervening 10 years, and footage of the Nobel ceremony. "When the Mountains Tremble" was released theatrically in 40 U.S. cities and 30 foreign countries. It was shown on PBS and recieved awards at the Sundance Film Festival (Special Jury Award), the American Film Festival (Blue Ribbon Award), and the Havana Film Festival (Grand Coral Award, Best North American Documentary). 90 minutes. DVD


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