KUED kicks off its Women and Girls Lead free film series with Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival, on Wednesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. in the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art auditorium.
Part political thriller, part memoir, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator shadows a haunting crime across four decades. The film by Pamela Yates is her follow-up to her 1982 film, When the Mountains Tremble, the first and only documentary record of the 36-year Guatemalan civil war between peasant revolutionaries and the genocidal military junta backed by the United States. Mountains was narrated by Guatemalan female political refugee Rigoberta Menchu, who won the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize.
Granito: How to Nail a Dictator picks up with Menchu’s criminal pursuit of the Guatemalan military dictator responsible for the genocide. Real-life characters sift for clues that could unlock the past and settle matters of life and death in the present. Like a crime thriller where the narrative is revealed step by step, this epic film travels between present and past, uncovering evidence of massive crimes and bringing accountability to the present.
As activists, experts and lawyers build an international human rights case against a military dictator, Pamela Yates’s original 1982 film, When the Mountains Tremble, emerges as a witness to the genocide it documented and becomes forensic evidence to help prove the genocide case against the dictator.
As part of Utah’s Refugee Awareness Month, the June offering, Pushing the Elephant, will be screened on Thursday, June 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the City Library Auditorium. The film, presented in conjunction with the Center for Documentary Expression and Art, tells the harrowing story of the remarkable Rose Mapendo, who was imprisoned with her family during the violence in the Congo and later resettles in Phoenix, Arizona, with all of her children, except one daughter who remained behind.
A cornerstone of the Women and Girls Lead project will be KUED’s film biography of Martha Hughes Cannon in July, which tells the story of Martha Hughes Cannon, the first female senator in Utah, who was a physician as well as a polygamous wife who ran against her own husband for the state senate.
In October, KUED broadcasts Half the Sky, a landmark transmedia project that includes a four-hour broadcast event filmed in 10 countries. The film follows author Nicholas Kristof (Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide) on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous women who confront oppression, fashion meaningful solutions and empower women and girls. Outreach plans also include an art installation at UMOCA and a production with Spyhop.
In January, in conjunction with the broadcast of Makers, KUED will produce a half-hour documentary on Utah women leaders, followed by a half-hour studio program on women in leadership.
KUED’s Woman and Girls Lead Film Series is part of a comprehensive outreach engagement project highlighting the obstacles and opportunities women face as they step forward to make a difference. The free films will typically run the second Wednesday of each month at UMOCA.
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