“Granito spans 30 years and portrays seven protagonists in Guatemala, Spain and the United States as they attempt to bring justice to violence-plagued Guatemala. Among the twists of fate:
A 22-year-old Mayan woman, Rigoberta Menchú, the storyteller in When the Mountains Tremble, goes on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 and then initiates the court case against Ríos Montt that eventually leads to the use of Yates’ footage as evidence.
A guerrilla commander, Gustavo Meoño, who authorized Yates’ filming with the insurgents in 1982, becomes a key player in uncovering the mechanisms of disappearances and state terror.
Naomi Roht-Arriaza, the young press liaison in Guatemala who helped arrange Yates’ filming with the guerrillas in 1982, becomes one of the key international lawyers working on the genocide case.
Fredy Peccerelli, the head of the Guatemalan forensic anthropology team assigned to unearth evidence of the vast killings, repeatedly viewed When the Mountains Tremble while growing up.
Granito is a film about a film and that film’s remarkable afterlife for a filmmaker, a nation and, most dramatically, as evidence in a long struggle to give a dictator’s victims their day in court. It is an inside, as-it-happens account of the way a new generation of human rights activists operates in a globalized, media-saturated world. Granito shows how multiple efforts — the work of the Guatemalan and international lawyers, the testimony of survivors, a documentary film, the willingness of a Spanish judge to assert international jurisdiction — each become a granito, a tiny grain of sand, adding up to tip the scales of justice.”