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SANCTORUM (2019, MEX) Movie review, plot, trailer, rating

Another mysterious, hermetic, artistic, atmospheric, visually striking, even a bit hypnotic and dreamy combination of drama and fantasy is coming to us from Latin America. This time from Mexico, and Joshua Gil who has signed on as a screenwriter, director, cinematographer, editor and producer, presented himself with “Sanctorum” at Critics Week in Venice. Unfortunately, this is also one of those films in which all the trump cards are thrown on the form, and the content is neglected, but as is often the case, at least when it comes to me, this decision did not work this time. And not only because it all seems rather strange and because there is no classic narrative line, but because Gil, with this combination of dark fantasy and crude almost doc-drama in which we meet authentic characters from the Mexican province, failed to achieve the effect that such artistic slow motion movies hold attention.

The plot of the film takes place in a small rural community located somewhere in the rural rainforests where the war between the army and the drug cartels is taking place. There lives an Indian population, including a boy and his mother who, along with countless other people, work on a marijuana farm while being guarded by dangerous guys armed with Kalashnikovs. When the boy’s mother and several other farm workers disappear, the toddler’s grandmother will advise him to head into the woods and ask the sky, wind and water to bring his mother back. The forces of nature will then be unleashed, and although it is quite clear that “Sanctorum” is another example of allegorical problematization of real problems with violence and cartels, this remains rather thin and vague. Rating 6/10.


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