Free from narrative and dialogue, Gods of Mexico is more a sensory experience than a story. It is a silent observation of Mexico’s Indigenous men and women, identified only by title cards notating the region.

The documentary is divided into three sections. In the first, two men dig a deep hole in the ground and then methodically fill it with rocks. Then the rocks are destroyed under the watchful eye of an old timer in aviator sunglasses and a straw hat. Why? The answer to that question intersects with another group of workers silently harvesting salt from nearby plots. 

From here, director Helmut Dosantos breaks into a section of pure portraiture before picking up with a group of miners tunneling deep below the surface. At no point does Dosantos ground the viewer or pause to explain his intentions. Instead, he leaves audiences with stunning cinematography and a wonderful exercise in imagination.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Gods of Mexico / Dioses de México (2022)
Written and directed by Helmut Dosantos
Oscilloscope Laboratories, Not rated, Running time 97, Premiered March 8, 2022 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The above blurb first appeared in the pages of Boulder Weekly, Vol. 30, No. 13, “That’s a wrap.”