Tuškanac Cinema / Friday, 19 May / 9 pm

The Echo / El Eco

Mexico, Germany, 2023, 102'
Director: Tatiana Huezo · Screenplay: Tatiana Huezo · Photography: Ernesto Pardo · Editing: Lucrecia Gutiérrez, Tatiana Huezo · Producer: Tatiana Huezo, Dalia Reyes – Radiola Films · Co-production: Viola Fügen, Michael Weber, Doris Hepp - The Match Factory, ZDF/Arte La Lucarne

In her new documentary, Tatiana Huezo presents a melancholy portrait of three families and a story of coming of age in the remote village of El Eco in the north of Mexico, with cinematic images resonating with great poetic power. The opening scene shows a young mother with her children, running across a steep meadow to save a sheep from drowning. A girl gently cares for her grandmother, who according to legend is the first woman to come to El Eco, while her sister lectures her dolls like they were her future students. Fathers are mostly absent, doing construction work or working as salesmen in cities, rarely seeing their families. In El Eco, life consists of elementary things, and nature takes turns being cruel and benevolent. Children grow up faster than elsewhere, educated by women and taught to care for older members of their community, animals and the environment. At the same time, tales are told of astronauts and blood-sucking witches, in the absence of rain the meals are meagre but eaten with particular delight. Montse is too headstrong to settle for a simple life in the village, she wants to race horses and enlist in the army to travel the world, so she decides to try her luck in the big city. For Huezo, meandering becomes a directorial principle, as she devotedly weaves faces and gestures into an unpretentious rural mosaic celebrating the beauty of children and animals, the harmony of man and nature. With a careful camera, Huezo captures the luminosity of their simple way of life and reveals the organic connections between all the living beings that dwell there. (DP)

Awards and festivals:

Berlinale (2023) – world premiere, Best Documentary and Best Director in the Encounters section; Visions du Réel (2023)

Tatiana Huezo is a Mexican-Salvadoran director with a degree from the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica in Mexico City and a degree from the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. Her feature film El lugar más pequeño (2011) attracted international attention. Her film Tempestad premiered in the Berlinale Forum in 2016 and won the Mexican Ariel film award for Best Documentary and Best Director. Her feature film Noche de fuego (2021) was awarded a Special Mention in Cannes.