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Granito: How To Nail A Dictator
A film about a film -- and extrordinary twists of fate. In a stunning milestone for justice in Central America, a Guatemalan court recently charged former dictator Efraín Rios Montt with genocide for his brutal war against the country’s Mayan people in the 1980s — and Pamela Yates’ 1983 documentary, When the Mountains Tremble, provided key evidence for bringing the indictment. Granito: How to Nail a Dictator tells the extraordinary story of how a film, aiding a new generation of human rights activists, became a granito — a tiny grain of sand — that helped tip the scales of justice.
A film by Peter Kinoy, Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis.
Official Selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival & WINNER Grand Jury Prize in the 2011 Politics on Film Festival
About the film
In January 2012, after 30 years of legal impunity, former Guatemalan general and dictator Efraín Ríos Montt found himself indicted by a Guatemalan court for crimes against humanity. Against all odds, he was charged with committing genocide in the 1980s against the country's poor, Mayan people.
In 1982, a young first-time filmmaker, Pamela Yates, used her seeming naiveté to gain unprecedented access to Ríos Montt, his generals and leftist guerrillas waging a clandestine war deep in the mountains. The resulting film, When the Mountains Tremble (1983) revealed that the Guatemalan army was killing Mayan civilians. As Yates notes in her extraordinary follow-up, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, "Guatemala . . . never let me go." When the Mountains Tremble had re-entered her life 30 years later when a Spanish lawyer investigating the Ríos Montt regime asked for her help. She believed her first film and its outtakes just might contain evidence to bring charges of genocide under international law.
Learn more about the film here .
Run time: 90 min.
Watch the trailer
This event is a collaboration with POV, PBS' award-winning nonfiction film series.
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.POV films have won every major film and broadcasting award including 23 Emmys, 13 George Foster Peabody Awards, 10 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Broadcast Journalism Awards, three Academy Awards and the Prix-Italia.