Short Takes: “Granito: How to Nail a Dictator”

Courtesy Skylight Pictures

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Granito: How to Nail a Dictator
SKYLIGHT PICTURES
103 minutes

Filmmaker Pamela Yates, who previously embedded with Guatemalan government forces and left-wing insurgents to document the dictatorship’s genocide against indigenous Mayans, now chronicles efforts to build a case against Efraín Ríos Montt, the former general and de facto president whose death squads allegedly tortured and murdered tens of thousands. While Yates shies away from the fraught history of the conflict, her interviews with survivors and regime troops strike an emotional chord. All told, Granito, which airs June 28 on PBS, offers a taste of the slog that inevitably results when people try to hold a tyrant accountable. Trailer below:

This review originally appeared in the July/August issue of Mother Jones. 

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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