Who are the Gods of Mexico?
Filmmaker Helmut Dosantos traveled throughout Mexico to show the world the cultural richness and natural diversity of the Latin American country.
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It almost dispenses with color and dialogue, and it doesn’t even need to. It seduces with black and white and an enveloping sound. Helmut Dosantos’ debut feature Gods of Mexico is a literary, immersive and emotional production that runs 97 minutes, a time that seems long enough to immerse Mexican, American and global audiences in a transversal reality: the audacity of modernity to subjugate the cultural identity of native peoples.
The screenwriter and producer, along with his crew, traveled through 17 of Mexico’s 32 states, were on the verge of not telling their journey's conclusion after a road accident and today, convinced that it was all worth it, Dosantos is able to screen Gods of Mexico.
In his film, Dosantos exhibits, with meticulous aesthetics, the natural secrets and little-explored landscapes of this territory, so close to the United States and part of Latin America — from the salt flats, the high plateaus, the jungle and the subway mines to the cultural DNA, solidarity, friendship, hospitality and idiosyncrasy of the inhabitants of each of these corners.
At all times, it is remarkable how the filmmaker sticks to his mission of putting a face to communities that struggle against the condemnation of oblivion and the extinction of their customs and oral traditions.
“Mexican rural worlds can be silent worlds or places where human beings observe nature a lot and the other way around. They are also worlds of observation, of work routines, of cycles. I didn’t want to turn the documentary towards an anthropological or ethnographic essay, but towards a more artistic side. From the very beginning, the film has been a personal journey for me to discover Mexico and transmit to the public the sensations we had. I didn’t want to give lessons to anyone, I don’t have the qualifications for that. I didn’t want to get involved in the problems or creative dynamics that many Latin American films tend to represent, which sometimes only seem to talk about problems,” the filmmaker said in conversation with AL DÍA.
Land of deities
The director of Gods of Mexico believes that, today, humanity is witnessing such accelerated socioeconomic transformations, which destroy local cultures that express a unique relationship with their environment.
“This film is a wake-up call about the importance of preserving such diversity in the face of a world that wants us to be more and more homogeneous,” he said.
Convinced of the value and artistic legacy of his documentary, the filmmaker chose the name of the production as “a tribute to all the people who live in rural Mexico, so that they are not lost as ghosts of modernization."
"They are people who continue to be important in the economy of a society, of a country, and they also do a fundamental job for us: preserving themselves, their traditions, and they are also the ones who work in the fields, in the mines. It is a celebration of them,” he continued.
Out in the U.S.
Dosantos’ poetic journey had its national premiere in March at DCTV’s Firehouse Cinema in New York. In April, it will be part of the ABC Art Baja California program, in the Cinema section, and will continue to be screened in more commercial theaters in the United States throughout this season. For more information on premieres in the U.S., please visit godsofmexico.oscilloscope.net.