Short Takes: “Granito: How to Nail a Dictator”

Courtesy Skylight Pictures

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Granito: How to Nail a Dictator
SKYLIGHT PICTURES
103 minutes

Filmmaker Pamela Yates, who previously embedded with Guatemalan government forces and left-wing insurgents to document the dictatorship’s genocide against indigenous Mayans, now chronicles efforts to build a case against Efraín Ríos Montt, the former general and de facto president whose death squads allegedly tortured and murdered tens of thousands. While Yates shies away from the fraught history of the conflict, her interviews with survivors and regime troops strike an emotional chord. All told, Granito, which airs June 28 on PBS, offers a taste of the slog that inevitably results when people try to hold a tyrant accountable. Trailer below:

This review originally appeared in the July/August issue of Mother Jones. 

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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