Year2022 Duration65 min. Projection formatdigital archive to DCP ColourColour LanguageSpanish DirectorUnidad de Montaje Dialéctico WriterUnidad de Montaje Dialéctico PhotographyUnidad de Montaje Dialéctico SoundSinewavelover MusicSinewavelover Production Unidad de Montaje Dialéctico & Pequén Producciones

Editing: Unidad de Montaje Dialéctico

Co-produced by: Talipot Studio & General Expenses

Muestra Internacional Documental de Bogotá 

European première

Script, direction, editing & photography: Unidad de Montaje Dialéctico. Produced by: Unidad de Montaje Dialéctico & Pequén Producciones. Co-produced by: Talipot Studio & General Expenses. Music & sound design: Sinewavelover


“In nature we never experience anything in isolation, but everything is connected to something else in front of it, beside it, under or over it”. Goethe said this, and was quoted by Eisenstein. Tótem, the work of a collective named Unidad de Montaje Dialéctico, is made of connections. Between vision and sound, between past, present and future, between essay and narrative. Tótem is a film made twice: one voice that recites an essay about forced disappearances in Mexico (their history, their forms and their causes), and another voice that explains the finding of an Olmec head lost in the bottom of a river. But Tótem is not just made up of words, it is also made up of images. Images that do not match what the words are saying, yet gradually start to match, distant and close at the same time; in the remains of a small boat our mind starts to see an Olmec head, in a flock of birds we see the multiplication of criminal organisations. All the time we are seeing and hearing more than what we really see and hear, because in the meeting between image and sound something else emerges, a meaning and a form. But also, the film does not limit itself to describing the past and the present. In describing the present of those struggling to find their lost ones, it proposes a new possible reality. By recounting the past, by describing the present, it proposes a future.

Pablo García Canga

Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes Audiovisuales Acción Cultural Española Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU

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