Daniel Ulacia Balmaseda, Ginan Seidl / Germany / 2023 / 90 min / World Premiere
A sensory film from the twilight between two worlds. In a village on Mexico’s southern coast, a small community lives in a complex, spiritual bond with nature’s animals.
A human being is born with a spiritual attachment to one of nature’s animals – a ‘tono’ – in a lifelong bond. Where once a tono protected its human counterpart, they have increasingly become a risk due to the destructive encroachment on their natural territories. ‘Bruises’ is a hypnotic and immersive film from the animist belief system and practices of a small community in Costa Chica on Mexico’s southern east coast, where Daniel Ulacia Balmaseda and Ginan Seidl meet four people and their tonos: a female fisherman, a healer, a farmer and a 97-year-old midwife who roams the night in the shape of a jaguar. Nature is threatened, but its immaterial powers are unchanged. Rather than a journey into the twilight between two worlds, ‘Bruises’ is a film that is present in the reality that surrounds the people and animals of this small community. Through a sensory, but always lucid cinematography, we sense the contours of relationships beyond ourselves.