THEY MADE US THE NIGHT
Antonio Hernández / Mexico / 2021 / 76 min / International Premiere
Supernatural visions and indigenous folk myths intrude in an unpredictable and dreamlike Mexican film about a family living in the shadow of the apocalypse. A living, organic work.
Every image is a universe in itself in the Mexican ‘They Made Us the Night’, which conjures up an world of beliefs and ancient narratives around a large family with an ageing matriarch at its centre. When Cyclone Dolores hit Mexico in 1974, it flooded the town of Charco Redondo, forcing its inhabitants to move away and found the town of San Marquitos, which still does not exist on any map. This is where the Salinas Tello family lives. In the run-up to the celebration of the town’s patron saint, the family matriarch provides for her children and grandchildren by praying for others at weddings and funerals. When she returns home, she tells her people’s original myths while trying to keep the spiritual connection to the nature that swallowed their town but also keeps them alive now. But the family’s youngest son Adonis would rather surf and eat pizza than dance the traditional devil’s dance. There is an almost physical quality to Antonio Hernández’s dreamy and magically sensory film, which sidelines Western logic and makes no distinction between internal and external realities.