New film depicts authentic picture of Guatemalan society

The KinoMonda International Film Series premiered “Las Marimbas Del Infierno” by Guatemalan director Julio Hernandez Cordon Wednesday.

The film is a mockumentary about a lower-class Guatemalan teenager who has dreams of becoming a famous musician.

Director of International Studies John Singleton said the idea for the film series started because there were no foreign film series when he came to Fort Worth and TCU.

The movie showed real people in real predicaments, Singleton said.

“What’s so special about this film is that it is gentle, but tough, and about day-to-day experiences in a place where very few people go,” Singleton said.

Singleton said he appreciated this film for its neo-realism and honesty about the lives of Guatemalan people.

“The editing doesn’t remove the harshness of their lives. You feel hot when they’re hot. You feel sweaty and dirty when those guys are sleeping on the floors,” Singleton said.

Singleton said he chose to feature the week about Guatemala because the county is very special to him.

“This [film] partly fell on my lap because of some old friendships,” Singleton said.

After the movie was shown, Cordon answered a series of questions from the audience.

Cordon said he was influenced by a variety of different filmmakers from all over the world when deciding to make the movie.

The director said the film received negative feedback from the Guatemalan government despite the major successes of being shown in Argentina, Chile, France and at the Toronto International Film Festival, and winning an award at the Miami Film Festival. Many of the actors from the movie have faced harassment after taking part in the film.

Malu Guillen Torres, a senior geography major from Guatemala, was the translator for the event.

Guillen Torres said she goes to the film series frequently, and this was her first time seeing a Guatemalan movie.

“This movie shows a different side to the culture, and it represents that side very well,” Gullen Torres said.

Srijan Lacoul, a junior engineering major, said he enjoyed the movie.

“I’m glad we had this festival and someone who brings culture,” Lacoul said.

People can learn about different cultures that they did not know before by attending the film series, Lacoul said.

Lacoul said he has been attending the film series for two years, and the crowd is frequently older people from the surrounding community and a small number of TCU students.

Both Guillen Torres and Lacoul said they have seen the student population grow since they started attending the film series.

The KinoMonda International Film series will be showing Juan Jose Campanella’s Academy award winning “El Secreto de sus Ojos” Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.