SynopsisA young mother runs across a mountain meadow with her children and they save a sheep from drowning. A girl cares for her elderly grandmother so tenderly that you want to cry while another practices being a teacher with just the right tone of voice, her dolls lined up before her as willing pupils. The fathers are mostly absent: as construction workers or tradesmen, they rarely share their daily lives with their families. In El Eco, a remote village in northern Mexico, life consists of the most elementary things. Being a child here is an intense experience from day one, involving nature, animals and people. But also love, intimacy, illness and death. And education – at least for the younger generation.
Tatiana Huezo has made a name for herself as a sensitive and poetic documentarian (e.g. Tempestad, Forum, 2016). Accompanying three families in her new work, the notion of meandering becomes an informing principle as she brilliantly weaves a host of faces and gestures into a kaleidoscope of unpretentiousness. Almost incidentally, she portrays the care-working matriarchy in a country notorious for its innumerable kidnappings of women and girls. A tender film that celebrates the grace of animals and the children of this earth alike.
Jury of Encounters 73 BERLINALE: For the gentle confidence and uncompromising honesty in directing, which magnifies both the powerful human qualities of its protagonists as well as their connection with nature, the best director award goes to Tatiana Huezo for her film EL ECO.
Berlinale Documentary Award 73 BERLINAE: In rural surroundings, young people discover the world. Luminous, intimate images of a grandmother, rainstorms, and school classrooms reveal a complex community. This deeply affectionate film shows time passing, a world opening up. It is a fascinating new piece in the director’s already distinguished body of work. Our award goes to Tatiana Huezo for EL ECO.