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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     95 minutes


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


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


International Competition Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation