Dir: Lila Avilés
Cast:Naíma Sentíes, Montserrat Marañon & Marisol Gasé
95 mins
In Spanish with English subtitles

Mexico’s entry into this year’s Oscars.

Seven year Sol helps her family prepare for her terminally ill father’s surprise party in this tender and emotive Mexican drama film which explores themes of death, bereavement and familial love.

Over the course of a long day, family and friends meet for a dual ritual. It’s the birthday of young father and painter Tona. But, as it will likely be his last, it is also a farewell ceremony, he will then be showered with all the love and affection needed to face his final journey.

Director Lila Avilés (The Chambermaid) takes meticulous care in observing her subjects as her warm and wondrous film carefully peels back all that’s said and unsaid, to reveal the deeply moving and upliftingly spiritual dimensions of human life.

“Lila Avilés creates a richly textured, deeply compassionate portrait of a family that’s falling apart as one of its youngest members comes into consciousness…

“Tótem” is only Avilés’s second feature…but it’s also one of the finest movies you’ll see this year.” Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“…exquisite, emotionally overwhelming drama” Justin Chang, The Los Angeles Times

“A dazzling, vibrant child’s-eye view of jubilation and tragedy.” Jessica Kiang, Sight & Sound

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