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A young girl looks off to the side with a sad expression on her face as candles are lit in front of her.


  •   Lila Avilés
  •   Mexico, Denmark, France

Seven-year-old Sol spends the day at her grandfather’s house, helping her sprawling family prepare a birthday party for her dying father, Tonatiuh. Behind the closed doors of his bedroom, Tona attempts to gather the strength for a celebration he never wanted, yet may be his last. As the daylight fades, complex webs of family tensions begin to tangle and break as each of Tona’s loved ones is overwhelmed by the duality of this celebration of life and death.

The childlike illusion of a harmonious family fades from Sol’s vision, and as the celebration comes to a close, she must learn to embrace the essence of letting go. A film whose spirituality transcends its story, Tótem is a warm and delicate meditation on life and loss.

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International Competition Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation

Event Information

Friday, October 20, 2023

  •   95 minutes
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N State St
Chicago, IL 60601

  • Assistive Listening Devices available
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Cinema/Chicago is committed to fostering an inclusive and accessible environment at all our programs and events. All event venues are fully wheelchair accessible, with no-step entrances or ramp access and elevators. All venues offer wheelchair-designated spaces, companion seating, easy-access theater seating, and accessible restrooms. For accommodation requests, please email us at access@chicagofilmfestival.com, call us at 312-683-0121, x108, or complete our Accommodation Request Form.

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