35 Years. 3 Films. 1 Story.

Watch the Resistance Saga Trailer


The Resistance Saga Trilogy is a cinematic event that tells the epic story of the Guatemalan Resistance from the Mayan perspective. In so many ways, indigenous peoples throughout the Americas have set the example of long-term courageous and strategic resistance against daunting odds, with a powerful example being the saga of the Mayan people as depicted in director Pamela Yates’ films When the Mountains Tremble, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator and now 500 YEARS. The event is an immersive gathering that includes all three films, and in many cases is followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

All three films of the trilogy have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival over the course of 35 years. When the Mountains Tremble (1984) introduced indigenous rights leader Rigoberta Menchú as the storyteller in her role to expose repression in the midst of Guatemala’s brutal armed conflict. The film received the Special Jury Award at Sundance and was seen all over the world and was translated into 10 languages. It helped put Menchú on the world stage and ten years later she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Yates’ sequel, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator (2011) is a political thriller that details international efforts to build a genocide case against Guatemalan General Efraín Ríos Montt. The case included the use of outtakes from When the Mountains Tremble as forensic evidence in the prosecution of the General. Yates was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship for her work on Granito and the film was nominated for a national Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a Long Form Documentary. The third film, 500 YEARS: Life in Resistance had its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and had its debut in Europe at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival London and the Geneva Human Rights Film Festival and Forum this March.

The Resistance Saga opened in New York at Lincoln Center as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival on June 11th, 2017. Watching the three films together, followed by a forum with the filmmakers and the powerful women leading the Guatemalan resistance, and concluding with a concert by rising Mayan singer/songwriter Sara Curruchich (who recorded a song for the 500 YEARS soundtrack), was an unforgettable experience and a unique opportunity for audience who engaged with the wisdom of nonviolent movements from around the world.


Upcoming Trilogy Screenings

Portland, Oregon – NW Film Center Oct. 28 & Oct 29
Belgrade, Serbia – Nov. 3, 4
Seattle, Washington – Nov. 4, 5

Past screenings of the trilogy:
Madrid, Spain – Cineteca Madrid: Oct. 10 – 15
San Diego, California – Sept. 8
New York, New York – June 11

More details coming soon.


The Resistance Saga at the Lincoln Center

June 11, 2017
A special event which featured Skylight’s Guatemala Trilogy and was
followed by a Q&A with filmmakers and the Mayan women leaders featured in 500 YEARS. The night ended with a concert by Mayan singer Sara Curruchich.


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