500 Years tells the courageous story of Guatemala’s indigenous majority population as they rise from the ashes of 30 years of injustice and oppression to convict a genocidal general and topple a corrupt president. Focusing on universal themes of justice, racism, power, and corruption, the Mayan people recount their three-year struggle to rise up, empowered by the growing outcry of public sentiment. As witness to this heroic moment in Guatemalan history, 500 Years documents the beginning of the end of an unaccountable rule of law and a society where change finally seems possible. Subtitles
This is the final film in Pamela Yates and Skylight’s Resistance Saga, which also includes When the Mountains Tremble and Granito: How to Nail a Dictator
I needed to continue to tell the story that began 35 years ago in Guatemala with When the Mountains Tremble and subsequently Granito: How to Nail a Dictator. But how could I tell a new and different story with a fresh perspective? I’ve stayed committed to Guatemala, a country of beauty and pathos, of courage and fear, where a majority of the indigenous Mayan population survived the Spanish conquest and resisted assimilation for 500 years. Resistance became the through line of this new lm, taking us into a genocide trial and a national uprising where we see how the extraordinary experience of the Mayans guides us.
Director’s Statement: Pamela Yates