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The third film in a trilogy about Guatemala, this installment explores the sweeping historical significance of the war crimes trial of General Ríos Montt and the toppling of corrupt president Otto Pérez Molina. Sundance Film Festival veteran Pamela Yates gracefully engages the indigenous Mayan population who experienced genocide at the hands of a long-standing repressive government. Silenced family members and eyewitnesses come forward to share their individual stories with the desire that their underreported, horrific treatment receive the attention it deserves.

Spoken in Spanish and native Mayan languages, 500 YEARS delicately weaves archival footage with new interviews and emotional courtroom scenes to shine light on a growing movement to fend off the systematic aggression toward an underrepresented people. Focusing on the recent events of a country that has suffered for generations at the hands of a ruling elite, the film hails the nation’s citizens banding together on a quest for justice—and emerging as a beacon of hope.

YEAR 2017

SECTION Doc Premieres


RUN TIME 106 min

LANGUAGE Spanish/Ixil/K'iche'/Kaqchikel

SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles

COMPANY Skylight

WEBSITE http://skylight.is

EMAIL paco@skylight.is

PHONE (917) 363-0429


Co Producers
Sound Recordist
Assistant Editors
Online Editor/Colorist
Supervising Sound Editor/Re Recording Mixer

Artist Bio

Pamela Yates

Pamela Yates is a co-founder and creative director of Skylight, a company dedicated to creating feature-length documentary films and digital media tools that advance awareness of human rights and the quest for justice. 500 YEARS follows When the Mountains Tremble (1983) and Granito: How to Nail a Dictator (2011) to complete her Guatemalan trilogy. All three films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.