The Slithering of the Snake

A small community within Guatemala City is stalked by a beast, an evil and mysterious being that grows with each passing day. The neighbors have learned to live with it, without losing their fear, as they also depend on its existence. Through the eyes of the inhabitants of the Manuel Colom Argueta community, we'll explore the legend, the danger, and the truth about the slithering of the Snake.

  • Esteban Cardona
    Producer and Director
    Max Holzheu: A Legacy of Guatemalan Brutalist Architecture
  • Jheremy Gudiel López
    Key Cast
  • María del Rosario Valdez
    Key Cast
  • Dora Cárcamo
    Key Cast
  • Joel Juárez
    Key Cast
  • Boris Veliz
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    El Reptar de la Serpiente
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 28 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 25, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Universidad Panamericana
Director Biography

Esteban is a film director and producer with over 10 years of experience. Throughout his professional career he has collaborated with renowned international companies and personalities.

He has been involved in the production of various film projects, such as the series "Quauhquechollan: El lienzo de la conquista" (2023, in post-production), the series "Historia de Guatemala: En busca de la libertad" (2021), the documentary short film "Max Holzheu: A Legacy of Guatemalan Brutalist Architecture" (2021), and the film "Gunpowder Heart" by Camilia Urrutia (2019). He has led projects in the United States, Spain, Panama, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Currently, he serves as the Deputy Director and Production Coordinator at UFM Studios, the production company of Universidad Francisco Marroquín where he also serves as professor, mentor, and academic advisor at the Film School.

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Director Statement

In Guatemala, there's an entity that hides in plain sight, an entity that consumes us little by little and yet, we choose to ignore it. This being lives and thrives on the waste we produce, but it rests far away so we think it doesn't affect us. That's not the case for the inhabitants of the Manuel Colom Argueta community.

The people of this community cannot afford to ignore this being because they not only live with it, but they also live off it. They are the ones who face it daily, with a deadly risk at stake. They are the ones who have given it a face, a body. They are the ones who fear The Snake, a jet-black creature of supernatural proportions and intentions as dark as its skin.

The Snake is the embodiment that this community has given to the municipal landfill located in Zone 3 of Guatemala City. This story arises from the way the community deals with reality; it is a metaphor for the dangers that this locality represents for them.

This documentary is narrated from the perspective of those directly affected by the garbage; they are not just numbers or set decorations. They are our heroes, who battle the monster day in and day out. More importantly, the backbone of this narrative is a child who provides a glimpse into what the future holds for the next generations. Jheremy will be the one to transport the viewer through his stories about this terrible beast. Along the way, the testimonies of different community members will contribute their perspectives to tell a problem that not only affects them but all of Guatemala.

Through the folklore of this community, The Slither of the Snake aims to show and raise awareness about the reality that those who live in the vicinity of the landfill face daily. The audience will paint a different picture of this landfill, understanding it from another point of view: the human perspective. Rather than presenting the consequences and dangers we all know about pollution, the goal is to create empathy for those who don't have the choice to turn a blind eye. Pollution, corruption, and mismanagement of a country's waste are real problems, problems that give life to the Snake.