Halfway to Heaven

Halfway to Heaven
               Genre: Documentary
  That one of the ghosts of the past can not escape so easily, which was the inhabitants of the municipality of “Aurora 8 de Octubre” clear only at the Finca Xaman in Chisec in Guatemala, it was already too late. It was in the midst of preparations for a village feast, when a military patrol approached the settlement and demanded entry to the village, ostensibly to participate in the celebrations. What made the situation even more tense was the fact that many of the residents of Aurora 8 de Octubre “were members of the indigenous Quiché, who had returned after years of repression and persecution, just from the Mexican exiles to their homeland. And then only after they had assured them that they would continue to remain undisturbed. A promise that at this 5 th Show in October 1995 as a false sense of security should. After a demonstration of the villagers against the military presence, the soldiers eventually opened fire, killing 12 people, another 28 were injured.

Now begins the second part of the story. And for all horror at the terrible massacre that it is encouraging that might have changed but perhaps long-term impact in Guatemala. For the residents of Aurora 8 de Octubre occurred “(incidentally, claimed damages in the Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú Tum to) defend himself and to choose the long and arduous journey before the courts. After eight years of laborious processing and various acquittals, the soldiers involved were eventually convicted in 2004 of 40 years in prison. A later victory of justice …

For twelve years, having worked for two filmmakers Andrea Lammers and Ulrich Miller in this film project. Even this alone shows how much the two should lie at the heart of this issue. Nevertheless, the film succeeds in spite of its balance rarely overcome the distance of the viewer. What may also move, therefore, that the film has come with its 106 minutes long and are always clearly meticulous about balance and objectivity widest possible effort. While this is welcomed by the journalistic point of view, absolutely, but on the other side prevents the identification and empathy with the villagers. Also the way how to transport the large amount of information does little to overcome the feeling of distance from the viewer – much remains fragmented and becomes apparent only when one brings relevant knowledge about the recent history of Guatemala and its indigenous populations .

Halfway to heaven treated without any doubt an important topic that should appeal to those viewers who bring a special interest in the history of Guatemala. When so many similar massacres in other countries, however, missed a bit of the widening of the gaze of the filmmaker on the exemplary in the struggle of the residents of the settlement “Aurora 8 de Octube. And it is precisely this prospect would have raised from the clean-researched, but also a bit long-winded film made a work that moved not only experts on the history of Guatemala would have.

(Joachim Kurz)

Title: Halfway to Heaven Country of production: Germany Year of production: 2008 Length: 108 (Min) Rental: pop tutu film

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