Finding Oscar | Chicago Reader
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Finding Oscar

Directed by Ryan Suffern, this harrowing documentary focuses on the December 1982 massacre perpetrated by the Guatemalan military against the little village of Dos Erres, whose residents—some 250 men, women, and children—were shot to death and dropped down the village well (if they weren't thrown in alive). The atrocity occurred shortly after President Reagan flew to Guatemala City to endorse President Ríos Montt, who had taken office in a coup earlier that year and was fighting a guerrilla insurgency. Declassified cables presented in the movie show that U.S. diplomats reported the massacre and implicated the military, though Reagan soon went before Congress to request more funds for Montt's forces. Among the handful of survivors were two small boys carted off by the soldiers and raised as adopted children; grown to manhood and tracked down by reconciliation activists, they share their own dim memories of the horror and try to explain the experience of having their childhood wiped away clean.


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