The first trailer for Venice competition title “La Caja” (The Box) has landed. The film is by Lorenzo Vigas, who won the Venice Golden Lion in 2015 for “Desde allá” (From Afar).
The film follows Hatzin, a young teenager from Mexico City who travels to collect the remains of his father, which have been found in a communal grave amid the huge skies and empty landscape of Northern Mexico. But a casual encounter with a man who shares a physical resemblance with his father fills him with doubts and hope about his parent’s true whereabouts.
Vigas’ 2004 short film “Los elefantes nunca olvidan” (Elephants Never Forget), which premiered at the Cannes Critics’ Week, was the first part of of a fiction trilogy that builds on the theme of the father figure. The second part was “Desde allá.” “La Caja” completes the trilogy.
In 2016, at the Venice Film Festival, Vigas presented a feature documentary about his father, the renowned Latin American painter Oswaldo Vigas, titled “The Orchid Seller.”
“In Mexico, as in the rest of Latin America, an innumerable amount of fractured families exist whereby the absence of the paternal figure is a common and nearly routine reality,” says Vigas in his director’s notes.
“Many young people grow and are forged by this absence. This theme, so fundamental in defining an individual, has particularly caught my interest as a screenwriter. Who we are or who we cease to be, without a doubt, is directly, frankly and powerfully related to who was, or ceased to be, our progenitor. Who we are as a continent is also frankly related to this absence.”
In answer to the inevitable question about whether his trilogy is based on experiences with his own father, Vigas says that despite being a busy artist, his father was always present.
The cast includes Hernán Mendoza, Hatzín Navarrete, Elián González, Cristina Zulueta, Dulce Alexa Alfaro and Graciela Beltrán.
The film is produced by Teorema and SK Global Entertainment. The Match Factory is handling international sales. “The Box” is also due to play at the Toronto and San Sebastian film festivals.