09/13/2011 05:05 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Pamela Yates on Granito: How to Nail a Dictator

2011-09-12-Granito_filmstill6_MilitaryOccupiesIndigenousHighlands1982_byJeanMarieSimon_410.jpgListen, there's nothing particularly wrong with a documentary about the war between two Donkey Kong champions; it's very good, actually (it's King of Kong, in fact). It's just that you have to admit that there's a considerable span between that and a film that has a tangible effect in seeing a man responsible for genocide called to justice.

The one thing Pamela Yates knew while filming When the Mountains Tremble in 1982 was that she wanted to see the Guatemalan generals in charge of the slaughter of Mayan villagers punished for their crimes. It took over two decades, but when the legal team preparing the case against former dictator General Rios Montt were preparing their case for the international court, they turned to Yates and her hours of out-takes for evidence. Granito: How to Nail a Dictator is not only about Yates' quest for the incriminating footage, but a personal recollection of her time shooting Mountains in 1982 and, ultimately, an examination of justice can only be served through the courage and determination of many hands. It may not give you insight into how to make it to the 22nd level, but it's a heartening testament to the notion that, if people will it, monsters can ultimately be vanquished.

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