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Special Screenings
Traveling Festival


Killer's Paradise

Killer's Paradise
83' (Guatemala)

Director:  Giselle Portenier
Producer:  The National Film Board of Canada


Since 1999, more than two thousand women have been murdered in Guatemala, with the numbers escalating every year. Yet lawmakers and government officials continue to turn a blind eye. Powerful and uncompromising, Killer’s Paradise uncovers one of the most emotionally-wrenching hidden human rights abuses taking place right now, while exposing the impunity allowed by an inept judicial system. When 13-year-old Stephanie Lopez was found killed, any evidence was buried with the body. In the three months since Jorge Velasquez’s daughter was murdered, the case file has shuffled from desk to desk with no real progress. After five years of hunting down her sister’s killers, Maria Elena Peralta is no closer to the truth. No one knows who is behind these atrocious acts and nothing is being done to find the culprits. Cases are routinely closed and the murdered women dismissed as nobodies. But there are traces of hope: a grass-roots human rights movement is emerging from the country’s tainted past. Fueled by frustration, anger, great sadness and loss, women and men are coming together for a common fight in the name of their daughters, wives and sisters. Human rights activist Norma Cruz travels across Guatemala to educate women on their rights and how to protect themselves and others against violence.


Giselle Portenier is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker who consistently focuses on human rights issues around the world. Her films have been used by human rights organizations in action campaigns and several have resulted in changes to the law. Portenier started her career as a reporter and anchor at BCTV in Vancouver, and worked as foreign editor for ABC News and associate producer for CBS 60 Minutes in London, England, before joining the BBC in 1986. During her twenty years there, she produced and directed dozens of documentaries, including Murder in Purdah about honor killings in Pakistan; Condemned to Live about torture and rape during the Rwanda genocide; The Slave Children about child slavery in West Africa; Israel Accused, an investigation into Israel human rights abuses in Khiam prison in Lebanon; and The Disposables about social cleansing in Colombia.

Contact Information:

Icarus Films
32 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY   11201
E-mail: mail@icarusfilms.com
Web site: www.icarusfilms.com

©2009 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)
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