Even years on from its civil war, Guatemala has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Violence begets violence here, whether you’re the President or at the bottom of the heap. The case of Rodrigo Rosenberg, through all its astounding twists and turns, ultimately bears this out. A few days after this charismatic, respected lawyer was shot dead, a video emerged in which he predicted his own death and laid the blame at the foot of the Guatemalan head of state. He became a cause célèbre and the government teetered as big business, money launderers and gangs became implicated, but the truth was at once more personal and considerably more convoluted.
Rosenberg emerges as a genuinely tragic figure, capable of tremendous bravery but also bewildering cowardice. Director Justin Webster follows his story through newsreel and the recollections of family and friends: it’s a tense, sombre affair, depicting a society still driven by fear, injustice and desperation.