"So the axolotl, worshipped by the Aztecs, is the last witness of an oppressed and abused landscape and an age when humans were still capable of building advanced civilisations. An intelligent – in the noblest sense of the word – essay film, and the bold portrait of a city." – Dok Leipzig
Visions du Réel
- Dok Leipzig
- Morelia International Film Festival
- Riviera Maya International Film Festival
- Oaxaca Film Festival
This deft essay film focuses in on an Aztec symbol of mythological import, then proposes it as a metaphor and frame for seeing more deeply into the flux of modern Mexico City, and the adaptation required of those living on its margins to survive.
Scorched Water begins as a search for the endangered axolotl, which despite its connection with mythological immortality has not been sighted in a few years. One of the last fishermen surviving on the outskirts of the megalopolis tells of its disappearance and expresses his desire to transform into one himself. Squatters have been encroaching on the chinampas, leading to further pollution and erosion of the canal system. Gang members recount some of their stories living on the margins around this area, stories that reveal the adaptation required to survive, but hard to characterize as regenerative. One of their former associates who became a corrupt policeman seems to move seamlessly between his two roles, almost like an amphibian. And so what begins as a search for the symbol of the unchanging, develops into an inquiry of change. The mythology of transformation lives on, but with Mexico City and its 22 million inhabitants as a symbol of metamorphosis.
76 Minutes | Spanish with English subtitles.
Directed by Alexander Hick
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