intergenerational project to recover the collective memory of the Guatemalan genocide. The sole genocide of the Americas in the 20th century happened in Guatemala, and people there don’t even know about it. They are not taught it in school. While we were making Granito, we were invited to show When the Mountains Tremble to young people and they would want to stay for hours and talk afterwards. So we decided that we would create a databank of memories and use the concept of granito to bring it to life. We’ll launch the prototype at the same time we open the film in Guatemala. It will also involve the Guatemalan diaspora in the United States. Ten percent of Guatemalans live here, that’s 1.3 million. And a lot of the young people don’t really know why they’re here, and we want them to ask their elders about the war and what happened to them. We want to put all this in the databank, which you can add and extract memories from.
What are you working on now?
We’re doing a quartet of films about human rights from the perspective of transitional justice, which is a field that deals with how societies recover from periods of dictatorship or mass atrocities; how they move forward. The first was State of Fear: the Truth About Terrorism, based on the findings of the Peruvian Truth Commission: that’s “Truth”; the second film was The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court, “Justice”; Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, “Legacy”; and the fourth one will be calledMemoryscape (“Memory”), which is about collective memory and what we decide to remember and forget about a certain event or period of history, and it will take place in four to six countries around the world. One of the stories will definitely be in the U.S.
Granito: How to Nail a Dictator opens in New York on September 14, at the IFC Center.