2017 | 108 min | USA
Directed by Pamela Yates
Australian Premiere

Presented by 


Executive Director of The Rescope Project
Research Professor Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation


From a historic genocide trial to the ousting of a president, 500 Years tells a sweeping story of mounting resistance played out in Guatemala’s recent history, through the actions and perspectives of the majority indigenous Maya population, who now stand poised to re-imagine their society.

500 Years is the third and final instalment in Director Pamela Yates’ Guatemalan trilogy. The struggle depicted in the trilogy is indeed one that goes back 500 years, examining the social and political state of Guatemala and the indigenous Maya peoples. 500 Years follows the trial of the former president Rios Montt, accused of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Yates incorporates indigenous rights issues, civil disobedience and wider social and political commentary of Guatemala into her film.

Focusing on the power of the people, en masse, to effect positive change is a crux of the film. Despite the tragic history of the Maya people, optimism and heart are central to this captivating story about a people reclaiming their history and building their future.

Convincing in its outrage and inspiring in its show of what the people’s will and can do as long as the masses protest and demand to be heard”- The Hollywood Reporte

“Ms. Yates’s zeal is heartfelt, and the optimism of her interviewees is uplifting’ – The New York Times

FESTIVALS SCREENED AT:   Sundance Film Festival, Ashland Independent Film Festival, Human Rights Watch Film Festival London


*This film has been exempt from classification and is restricted to people over 15 years. People under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.