Six months after the launching of his second feature film Temblores / Tremors at the Berlin Film Festival, Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante will premiere his third feature film La Llorona as part of the competition at Venice Days, Giornate degli Autori, the independent parallel section of the Venice Film Festival.
Bustamante, who won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival for his debut feature Ixcanul, pairs up again with María Mercedes Coroy, María Teló, Juan Pablo Olyslager, and Sabrina de la Hoz in La Llorona, a tale of horror and fantasy, ripe with suspense, and an urgent metaphor of Guatemalan recent history and its unhealed political wounds.
With the words “If you cry, I’ll kill you” ringing in their ears, Alma and her sons are murdered in Guatemala’s armed conflict. Thirty years later, a criminal case is brought against Enrique, a retired general who oversaw the genocide. But he’s acquitted through a mistrial and the spirit of La Llorona is unleashed to wander the world like a lost soul amongst the living.
At night, Enrique starts to hear her wailing. His wife and daughter believe he’s having bouts of Alzheimer’s-related dementia. Little could they suspect that their new housekeeper, Alma, is there to mete out the vengeance the trial did not.
La Llorona is the only Latin American selection of the 11 titles announced for this year’s Venice Days. The winner gets a €20,000 cash prize, selected by 28 young filmgoers, one from each country in the European Union. The 16th edition of Venice Days will take place August 28 - September 7 in Italy.