Critic Consensus: Ixcanul opens a window into a little-seen corner of the world -- and finds universal truths about the human condition that should resonate with patient viewers.
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Critic Reviews for Ixcanul
The end ultimately justifies the means; whether viewers will want to stick it out is another thing.
Like its titular Guatemalan volcano, Jayro Bustamante's hypnotic film debut Ixcanul bubbles with the tension of a teenage girl at odds with her family's native customs, before erupting into a frantic and quietly devastating third act.
It all looks fascinatingly foreign to American eyes, but María's story - about rebellion and consequences, oppression and heartbreak - is anything but.
You can sense the director's respect for his subject in the movie's unhurried dramatic rhythms, its grounding in the earthy rituals of everyday life and its strong cast of nonprofessional Maya actors.
"Ixcanul" provides a window into a culture that we rarely see. But it's not just an anthropological study - it has a powerful story to tell, too.
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