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Movie Review
By Ángel Jesús Hurtado Palencia

The cave of voices

Daniela Falcón is an artist passionate about her land, blind with love for her cultural roots. She is responsible for showing her heart in front of the camera. A story that many recognize, and others simply forget. The ancestral voices of Central America reclaim their lost space. That lost language resuscitates for moments within the young blood that made this film. Genetics cannot be evaded, genetics remembers everything, and genetics always looks for a way to preserve itself.

Inside a macabre, mysterious, and solitary cave, the adventure of creation begins. Just like the very Genesis of cinema, which saw its first steps in a French cave 40,000 years ago, a beautiful ancestral effort that sought to animate painting, but primarily to unleash our imagination. The imperfection of 'Memories of Water' is blunt, it is an amateur film, as naive and pure as an infant trying to ride a bicycle for the first time. The beginning is lazy, bland, and technically run over, but it is justified by the pure nature of its filmmakers, we are not in front of a technical prowess, much less in front of a work that transcends the imagination of Mexican experimental cinema, we are in front of a personal look, which still needs to mature and self-criticize itself.



Something that connected me with the origin of this story was the cave, in my thoughts was the myth of Plato's cave, the place where all our existential nonconformity starts, the timid attempt of a species to try to understand the insignificance of its existence. and I thought about how little we still know about our past. The most beautiful part of Daniela's film is at the same time the weakest, the ancestral voices want to be the protagonists, but the magic outside the cave completely consumes the primary essence of the film.

There is a minimal hint of narrative, but the reality is that there is no experimental proposal as such, we, the audience, enter a process that could be called a documentary, or for those who do not believe in the existence of the documentary, we enter the intimate discourse of the author. Daniela has a precious motivation, to relive the ritual, to relive her blood, to relive an illusion. But we must be honest and take the conversation of experimental cinema to a more precise place, so I must admit that Daniela did a beautiful job entering for moments in the cave of experimental cinema. This story works thanks to the love of an artist for her roots, this story has been told, seen, and imagined many times, but the audience alien to that reality will never understand what this work means to its makers, here we must walk delicately because we are treading on sacred ground, we are remembering the blood of our ancestors.

Experimental cinema allows us to explore nature in very intimate ways, in this case, 'memories of water' has a positive point, and it is precisely when nature takes center stage. The fauna and flora are exposed simply, but that alone is enough to evoke power. The film is a relaxing proposal as if it were a balm for the eyes. As viewers we are trapped in a beautiful reality of amateur filmmakers, these filmmakers present a work that is not suitable for humans who live in the constant search for the narrative, but the narrative as much as we want to avoid it is always present, as if it were a glass cage, it is a delicate cage that can be easily broken. Although it may seem crazy, I must affirm that the narrative is something avoidable, but at the same time infinite. The creation of Daniela's universe begins with the female figure, an imposition coherent with the discourse of the filmmakers, and related to the maternal ideal of procreation. Mother nature spreads over the darkness and her masculine counterpart is born, all this occurs in a grayish liquid cosmos, a slow, rough dance, without chemistry, but with a firm intention to coexist.

Is this a speech full of resentment? or self-criticism about sociocultural blur, or simply a wake-up call to the imminent transformation of culture. It is a documentary model that uses pseudo-narrative elements and at certain moments disguises its body, to call itself experimental. The sound, the wind, and the water that decorate the experience beautifully are immersive. The level of cinematography is acceptable, attempts to compose denote inexperience but achieve frames of absurd beauty, which do not need further composition. The experiment from editing and effect is very timid and worryingly fearful. A human montage, because it fails in terms of rhythm because it fails to impose rare cuts, but that survives thanks to the transitions, the melts are precise and well achieved. The project feels unfinished, a work that was found on the way, or that was thought too much from inexperience. In short, from the technical point of view, the maternal point of view is clumsy, but sincere, without getting so dirty with modern feminism. Are there excuses for certain image games? The sequence of effects in the city is the weakest point of the film, otherwise when we enter the peaceful Mexican nature. All the criticism seems to point to one place, but it’s just about my perception, this film promotes conversation, not falling in love.



Is change full of violence? , Herzog in the remembered 'Fitzcarraldo' took to the limit the relationship between man and cinema, crossing a boat manually through a mountain in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon jungle, was not the great feat of that film, the real feat was to place his art above violence, Few filmmakers have managed to reach that level of cinematic experimentation, but Herzog is a genius who sleeps peacefully and without remorse. Daniela Falcón and her film are the antithesis of Herzog’s honest cinema, but that doesn’t make her dishonest, 'memories of water' is a production that contains love but lacks to take the message to the field of visual poetry. What feeling dwells in ancestral voices? it seems that there is only desire to criticize change, hatred of the modern is respectable, hatred of the colonizer is understandable, hatred of new foreign languages is sincere. Hate becomes resentment, then transcends into sadness and at the end the circle closes resignation. The conflict between the river and the ocean ends peacefully.

Finally, I congratulated Daniela and her team for this fascinating project, a pleasant experience as the humble face of those Mexican women, happy faces, friendly, simple, faces of mothers who are daughters of the earth, and hopefully the spiral of the modern toilet won’t swallow the essence of the Central American ancestors.

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