If Disney discovered Colombia through the Madrigal family, Apichatpong Weerasethakul has done the same with a Spanish-speaking Tilda Swinton in the magnificent Memoria, which is also loaded with magical realism. More Bowie than ever, Swinton is a woman who seems to have fallen from heaven, and who crosses the Central American country in search of a mysterious sound that is definitively keeping her up at night. Not even 0.5 mg of Xanax® can get her to sleep. The impression caused by Memoria, a strikingly unforgettable picture, is that we finally have a translation of the Thai’s cryptopoetry that we have admired so much since the incomprehensible Mysterious Object at Noon (2000). He may have partially revealed his mysteries to us, but it doesn’t take away an iota of the charm.

Memoria also resonates with El gran movimiento by the Bolivian Kiro Russo, one of this season’s sensations. In La Paz, the everyday is confused with the esoteric. People suddenly start to dance. A strange evil consumes them. There is a somewhat charlatan shaman who comes down from the mountain to plunge himself amid the infra-urban bustle. As in Memoria, immersion in this strange world is quite the sensory experience. No less magical, mystical or mysterious, and even more atmospheric, is Clara Sola, by Costa Rican Nathalie Álvarez Mesén, another film that refuses to be reduced to a mere synopsis. And the no less young Argentine director Sol Berruezo Pichón-Rivière, who was unveiled last year at this very festival with Mamá, mamá, mamá, is back to surprise us again with Our Happiest Days, where people also dance for no apparent reason, and with a premise that is just as magical: an older woman suddenly turns into a little girl, much to the astonishment of her nearest and dearest. Another Madrigal.

From the Mexico of the already well-established Rodrigo Plá and Michel Franco, who are here this year to present The Other Tom and Sundown, respectively, to the Peruvian dystopia of Tiempos futuros, which tells of a machine created to bring rain, the D’A is offering a journey through the magical lands of Latin America, cinematographies that still don’t get talked about enough. Latino culture may once have been peripheral, but it has now conquered the heart of the mainstream to become a core element of global culture, but the new generation of Latin American filmmakers are still in hiding, like this Bruno who nobody can talk about, sandwiched between the walls of his family home. And here we have a wonderful opportunity to discover them.

-Philipp Engel