This is a grown up movie/documentary. Below its plot as described by IMDb:
"Set in Guatemala, 1954, at the time a U.S. funded government overthrow of left-wing president Jacob Arbenz, it chronicles the struggles of a pre-adolescent boy to grow up in a tumultuous time. Neto, at the funeral of his uncle Ernesto is suddenly visited by his uncle's ghost. Their conversation becomes a flashback of six months earlier. The memory follows the changes wrought by the intervention of U.S. military and local troops as the coup begins. Neto's family's life is profoundly affected by the military action. Neto's father, a teacher, loses his job to military personnel. His classmates and their families begin to disappear. Neto and his family must flee their city. There is also conflict between his father and uncle, His father has always put his responsibility to his family ahead of all else and his uncle has wandered the world attempting to find himself. Neto has asthma and the women in his family smother him with concern".
I watched it with my Mom and Dad who were teenagers during the time the movie takes place. During the whole moving they kept saying "justo así era" (that was exactly right). Undoubtedly it won't arise the same passion to somebody that knows less about Guatemala but on the other hand it is a good way to know where Guatemala is coming from.
My mom vividly remembers the air attacks. Guatemalans, we have a way to turning tragic into something to laugh about, they would refer to the bombarding planes "sulfato" (sulfate) because they scared you so much they made you go to the bathroom. She says when they heard them someone would yell "El Sulfato" and they all ran to take cover under the beds, after that they came out and kept on playing or going about their business!
Awards and Recognitions
OFFICIAL SELECTION 1995 of the Sundance Film Festival
QUIJOTE AWARD - Huelva Film Festival, Spain;
SPECIAL JURY AWARD -Biarritz Film Festival, France;
BEST FILM - New York Latino Film Festival;
BEST OPERA PRIMA - New England Film Festival;
SPECIAL MENTION - Puerto Rico International Film Festival.