Mayan culture still thrives among the Tzotzil people of San Andrés Larrainzar, a town in southeastern Mexico. Each inhabitant shares responsibility for the collective well-being but only a few are called upon to serve the gods—often in a dream.
Preparations for the annual festival in honor of the town’s patron saint Andrew the Apostle are in full swing. The film focuses on Martha and Diego, a married couple who have been appointed guardians of the saint, and on Román and his son Tino, who have been called upon to serve as musicians. Music has a key role to play in this blend of Catholic and Mayan faith. Meticulously and with love, filmmaker Humberto Gómez Pérez—son of Martha and Diego—captures the dedication with which these servants of faith execute their allotted tasks.
Elsewhere in the film, the director treats the viewer to stunning views of the sweeping mountain landscape and close-ups of the crafted objects and musical instruments that have a central role in this religious practice. He transports us from the everyday to the divine, and from the personal to the collective, to witness still-thriving ancient approaches to transferring knowledge.