ScreeningOct 18 2013 - 7:30 PM
at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3
Directed by: Jose Alvarez | 65 minutes | Mexico | Spanish with English subtitles | G | Documentary | 2011 | Toronto Premiere
Director Jose Álvarez in attendance
With his thoughtful and highly stylized approach to ethnographic filmmaking, Jose Álvarez (Flowers in the Desert) captures the ancient rituals astir in the Totonac community of Zapotal-Santa Cruz, Mexico, during the 40-day ceremonial season of canícula.
Breathtaking cinematography and a poignant musical score frame an intimate look at the women’s relationship to the earth in their delicate crafting of ceramics and the mesmerizing free-fall act performed by the Voladores (“flying men”) in their invocation of blessings of the deceased. Álvarez’s close framing and graceful editing pay close attention to the rhythms of the Totonacs’ daily life and mirror the level of skill involved in their craft.
The critically-acclaimed Canícula sculpts an engrossing portrait of a culture in which the preservation of indigenous identity is paramount and ancient traditions are intricately intertwined in everyday life.
FIPRESCI Award, Best International Film, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Signis Prize, Toulouse Festival of Latin American Cinemas
Jury Award, Riviera Maya International Film Festival
Official Selection, Vancouver International Film Festival