‘La Llorona’ film takes on the real horror of genocide in Guatemala

The  Latin American folktale of La Llorona has been around for centuries. There are many versions, but roughly, the story is about a woman who’s enraged by her husband having an affair, so she drowns her two children. She immediately regrets it and roams the land, wailing for her children. 

La llorona means “the weeping woman.” Usually wearing a flowing white robe, she’s been a haunting figure in lots of scary stories and movies. 

The latest film is from Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante. His version has a political twist. It’s a fictionalized account of a real genocide in Guatemala in the 1980s. The film begins with the trial decades later of the retired general who allegedly orchestrated the genocide. He’s found guilty, but the sentence is annulled because of his bad health. He and his family hole up in their palatial home, which is surrounded by angry protestors. The house staff flees.

With the arrival of one mysterious new maid wearing a white flowing dress, the chaos outside the general’s mansion takes on a supernatural form inside. 

Viewers can watch “La Llorona” now on Shudder