By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

From Guatemala comes this tremendously powerful film from writer/director Camila Urrutia who makes her feature film debut here. Urrutia tells the story of two girlfriends enjoying life and love in an impoverished country with few opportunities for prosperity. On one life-changing night, Claudia (Andrea Henry) and Maria (Vanessa Hernandez) get attacked and raped by a group of boys close to their age. Traumatized and hurting from this ugly violation, both ladies struggle with their new feelings and attempt to cope in very different ways. Maria feels much anger and wants revenge, but the more sensible Claudia is not sure a violent respomse is worth the further consequences.

I must say that I found Camila Urrutia’s film.debut engrossing, heartbreaking and utterly tragic. Urrutia’s film makes a bold and angry statement about the ways women can get treated in Guatemala and how violence often leads to more violence. It is an insightful and compelling film that realistically shows the psychological damage caused by rape and how these cases often get ignored. Both Andrea Henry and Vanessa Hernandez give riveting performances. Though it isn’t feel great material, the film is essential in that it calls for better treatment of women in Latin American nations.

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