La Llorona (The Weeping Woman). 2019. Guatemala. Directed by Jayro Bustamente. Written by Jayro Bustamente and Lisandro Sanchez. With Maria Mercedes Coroy. In Spanish, Mayan-Caqchickel, Mayan-Ixil; English subtitles. 97 min.
The Guatemalan entry in the 2019 Oscar race, La Llorona is a bold reimagining of the legend of the weeping woman, a roaming ghost haunted by the death of her children. After standing trial for war crimes, retired General Enrique Monteverde's (Julio Diaz) estate in Guatemala City is surrounded by demonstrators, reminding Monteverde of the irreplaceable lives lost, despite his guilty verdict. Unrest outside bleeds indoors, as the family's Mayan-Ixil housekeepers swiftly resign their posts. The arrival of Alma, a new maid, brings all of Monteverde's paranoid fears to the fore. A seamless hybrid of psychological horror and interior drama, ably directed by Jayro Bustamante, La Llorona succeeds as a tactile, contemporary take on a timeless folktale.