Granito, a documentary on the Guatemalan atrocities of the 1980s premiered last week at the Sundance Film Festival. I met the director, Pamela Yates, after a screening of her last film, The Reckoning, in New York for the 2009 Human Rights Watch Film Festival. At the time, we spoke about the role of archival footage in bringing justice to oppressed groups and individuals. Yates was traveling between the U.S. and Latin America at that time filming Granito. Yates’ documentary footage from a related 1982 film, When the Mountains Tremble, was currently being used to develop a human rights case for victims of the political and civil conflicts in 1980s Guatemala. Because outtakes from this earlier documentary being used to develop cases against the Guatemalan state, Yates was given the unique opportunity to follow and document on film the subsequent unearthing of government archives which were used also used as evidence in the trials.
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