500 YEARS tells the epic story that led Guatemala to a tipping point in their history, from the genocide trial of General Ríos Montt to the citizen uprising that toppled President Otto Perez Molina. While indigenous peoples of Guatemala are no stranger to oppression, the recent events that took place over a tumultuous three-year span, change finally seems possible when their movement is met with civil society’s outcry to end corruption.
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 ready for change. Focusing on universal themes of justice, racism, power and corruption, 500 YEARS tells the story from the perspective of the majority indigenous Mayan population, and their struggles in the country’s growing democracy.
This is the third chapter of the trilogy of documentaries on Guatemala, led by Pamela Yates, and follows the films When the Mountains Tremble (1983) and Granito: How to Nail a Dictator (2011). The documentary film premiered in January 2017 at the Sundance Film Festival.