Echo of the Mountain
Echo of the MountainOriginal Title: Eco de la montaña
Director: Nicolás Echevarría
Mexico | Spanish
Subtitles: Arabic, English
When we first meet Santos de la Torre on a dusty ranch in rural Mexico, one would be forgiven for not suspecting the simple, quiet man to be an astoundingly talented visual artist. His chosen form—multipaneled murals crafted from impossibly tiny beads—is the perfect vehicle to express the spirituality and soul of not just himself but his increasingly marginalized community of indigenous Huichol people. Veteran filmmaker Nicolás Echevarría, long a champion of the Huichol and their unique stories, pays de la Torre the respect and attention he deserves with this thoughtful documentary, which took home multiple honors at the Guadalajara Film Festival.
Echevarría pays proper attention to the great irony of de la Torre’s life as an artist—one of his dazzling, impossible-to-ignore murals hangs in the Paris Metro station that serves the Louvre, yet the artist wasn’t even invited to the unveiling ceremony and continues to toil largely unacknowledged in his home country—but the driving force behind the humbly styled film is de la Torre’s efforts to create a new mural. We see him sketching, passionately describing his subject matter. Echevarría reveals the depth of both his artist subject and the threatened land and lifestyle he holds dear as de la Torre makes a nearly 400-mile sacred pilgrimage to ask the gods permission to create his art.