Central America & the Caribbean Film Series: Cárcel de árboles / Prison of Trees (Guatemala, 2015)


Monday, March 11, 2019, 12:30pm to 2:00pm


CGIS South, S216, 1730 Cambridge Street

Carcel ImageA film by Guillermo Escalón y Rodrigo Rey Rosa

Chained and tortured, dozens of youths from the United States and from prominent Guatemalan families were held captive in the depths of the Guatemalan jungle in the 1970s and 1980s. With the complicity of the military high command that governed Guatemala at the time, they were brainwashed to worship Dave Burden, a quack American therapist, who carried out his dark project involving addicted and mentally ill youth. The film’s title comes from the title in Spanish of the 1991 novel by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, which was published in English as The Pelicari Project. In it, he narrates events similar to the ones that took place in the jungle prison many years before they became public knowledge. In this film, Rodrigo Rey Rosa and Guillermo Escalón examine the entanglements of life and fiction. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Screening followed by a discussion with Alexandra Ortiz Wallner, Professor, Institute of Latin American Studies, Freie Unviersität Berlin; and Alberto Castillo Ventura, PhD Candidate, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University