Film Countries Archives: Mexico

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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.

Tótem

  Lila Avilés

  Mexico, Denmark, France     95 minutes

Synopsis

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.

 Spanish with subtitles 

Screenings & Events

Digging Deeper into Movies with Nick Davis

Sat, Oct 14 @ 12:00pm


Join Northwestern Professor and film critic Nick Davis for an interactive conversation before the Oct 14 screening of Tótem.

Free and open to the public.

Get free tickets

Media

Film Credits

  •   Tatiana Graullera, Lila Avilés, Louise Riousse
  •   Lila Avilés
  •   Omar Guzmán
  •   Diego Tenorio
  •   Naíma Sentíes, Montserrat Marañon, Marisol Gasé, Saori Gurza, Mateo García Elizondo, Teresita Sánchez, Juan Francisco Maldonado, Iazua Larios, Alberto Amador
  •   Thomas Becka
  •   Limerencia Films, Laterna, Paloma Productions, Alpha Violet Production

Sponsors

International Competition Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation

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A girl in a warm hooded coat leads a horse by the bridle.

The Echo El Eco

  Tatiana Huezo

  Mexico, Germany     102 minutes

Synopsis

In the small rural Mexican village of El Eco, a teenage girl, Montse, dutifully works alongside her family, caring for the sheep and her grandmother with the same sense of curiosity and devotion. While frost and drought punish the land, she learns the ways of life and death. As in her auspicious fiction feature Prayers for the Stolen, with this lyrical coming-of-age docu-fable acclaimed Mexican-Salvadorean filmmaker Tatiana Huezo beautifully captures both the preciousness of adolescence and the region’s unforgiving elements.

Exquisitely textured and deeply empathetic, The Echo unfolds like a dream, shifting between the sweet and the dark. In sumptuous, vivid images, Hueso observes how children’s lives in these hardscrabble towns mirror those of their parents and grandparents in a generational cycle of struggle and hope.

 Spanish with subtitles 

Screenings & Events

Media

Film Credits

  •   Tatiana Huezo, Dalia Reyes
  •   Tatiana Huezo
  •   Lucrecia Gutiérrez (AMEE), Tatiana Huezo
  •   Ernesto Pardo
  •   Montserrat Hernández Hernández, Luz María Vázquez González, Sarahí Rojas Hernández, María de los Ángeles Pacheco Tapia
  •   Leonardo Heiblum, Jacobo Lieberman
  •   Maya Scherr-Willson
  •   Radiola films
  •   https://lineup.the-match-factory.digital/berlinale-23/the-echo

Sponsors

Documentary Program Sponsors

Logo: WTTW (2019)Cynthia Stone Raskin

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A man in the passanger seat of a car looks backwards over his shoulder past camera.

Pet Shop Days

  Olmo Schnabel

  United States, Italy, United Kingdom, Mexico     100 minutes

Synopsis

In an act of desperation, impulsive black sheep Alejandro (Dario Yazbek Bernal) flees his home in Mexico. On the run from his unforgiving father, Alejandro ends up in New York City. There, he meets Jack, a pet store worker whose own, similarly wealthy family life is fracturing after his father (Willem Dafoe) betrayed his mother (Emmanuelle Seigner). Together, the two young men enter a whirlwind romance, sending them into a dead-end world of passion, drugs, and depravity.

With Pet Shop Days, first-time feature director Olmo Schnabel, son of artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel, has crafted a gritty throwback to American independent cinema. (No wonder Martin Scorsese signed on as an executive producer.) Imbued with raw emotion and propulsive pacing, and led by an explosive performance by Yazbek Bernal (Gael’s half-brother) as the wild and wounded Alejandro, Pet Shop Days is a riveting portrait of lost young men in search of connection.

 English, Spanish with subtitles 

Screenings & Events

Media

Film Credits

  •   Galen Core, Alex Coco, Francesco Melzi d’Eril, Gabriele Moratti, Marie Savare de Laitre
  •   Jack Irv, Olmo Schnabel, Galen Core
  •   Sophie Corra
  •   Hunter Zimny
  •   Jack Irv, Darío Yazbek Bernal, Willem Dafoe, Peter Sarsgaard, Maribel Verdú, Jordi Mollà, Camille Rowe, Emmanuelle Seigner, Louis Cancelmi
  •   Eli Keszler
  •   Giovanni Corrado, Raffaella Viscardi, Moreno Zani, Malcom Pagani, Renato Ragosta, Livio Strazzera, Theo Niarchos, Aimone Ripa Di Meana, PJ Van Sandwijk, Peter Brant Jr., Michel Franco, Reka Posta, Jeremy O. Harris, Martin Scorsese
  •   TWIN, MeMo Films, Storyteller Productions, Tenderstories, 3 Marys Entertainment, ELA Films

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Two men wearing matching yellow polos lean against a fence topped with barbed wire, one smokes a cigarettes.

firedream lumbrensueño

  José Pablo Escamilla

  Mexico     80 minutes

Synopsis

Lucas is a teenager in limbo. He and his family have recently started over in a gray, industrial city, where he works aimlessly flipping burgers at a restaurant that never ceases to exploit him. He spends his afternoons with his coworker and friend Oscar, a socially awkward free spirit who resists the family and work pressures to which Lucas feels so beholden. When Oscar suddenly departs on a distant journey, entrusting Lucas with a shoebox full of his memories and most valued possessions, these objects will send Lucas on a path of discovery and connection. Through poetry and photography, he seeks to capture the light he observes amongst the darkness, and bring it back home.

José Pablo Escamilla’s formally daring second feature is a poetic odyssey, searching for meaning in grief and genuine human connection through the act of creating.

 Spanish with subtitles 

Content Considerations
Suggestion of self harm
Learn about Festival content considerations...

Screenings & Events

Media

Film Credits

  •   Diandra Arriaga
  •   José Pablo Escamilla, Nicolasa Ruiz
  •   Julieta Seco
  •   Miguel Escudero
  •   Diego Solis, Imix Lamak, Teresita Sánchez
  •   Lucerna Records, Isaac Soto
  •   La Biennale Di Venezia
  •   Colectivo Colmena
  •   https://www.colmena.tv/en/film/lumbrensueno/

Sponsors

New Directors Program Sponsors

Robert and Penelope Steiner Family Foundation

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Red Shoes Zapatos rojos

  Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser

  Mexico      2022    

Synopsis

When Artemio receives unsettling news about his daughter, he sets out from his remote mountain farm for Mexico City in search of answers. As he struggles to navigate the utterly foreign capital, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with a down-on-her-luck sex worker. Together the two embark on a journey through the city’s labyrinthian streets and bureaucracies. A profound, poetic visual style and empathetic lead performances power this quietly ferocious fable about love, duty, and determination.

 Spanish with subtitles 
  83 minutes

Screenings & Events

Media

Sponsors

Film Partner

Logo: Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago 250x75