(director/writer: Helmut Dosantos; Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Gerardo Gonzalez Fernandez, Pilar Goutas, Marta Nunez Puerto, Helmut Dosantos; Oscilloscope Laboratories; 2022-B/W, color-USA, Mexico)

“It zings us with its brilliant painterly compositions.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Helmut Dosantos in his feature film debut directs an almost completely silent documentary, that was made between 2013 and 2022. It has beautiful visuals (filmed in both richly saturated color and hypnotic black and white) and offers salient observations of Mexico’s Indigenous men and women, identified only by title cards pointing out the region they are from. It also shows different Mexican rural communities, a desert, a jungle and an underground salt mine.

It’s a tribute to manual labor and the rural communities of Mexico, and of those who strive to keep their identity in the changing modern times.

There are colorful shots of salt miners moving in rhythmic synchronization in the water and of a camera slowly zooming in on a volcanic crater, whose floor resembles a giant eye.

The lyrical essay is divided into three parts (white, a middle-part and black), with no commentary by Dosantos, as he lets the viewer figure things out by himself.

It zings us with its brilliant painterly compositions and its sound design shifts, where underwater echoes conjure up a long-since vanished inland sea.

REVIEWED ON 10/15/2023  GRADE: B