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Son of Monarchs Review | Sundance 2021

Son of Monarchs is an intriguingly captivating film out of Mexico that introduces many of its audience members to a world few knew existed… the world of biologists trying to figure out how to genetically change the color of butterfly wings! That’s a real job. Watch this movie and see for yourself!

Tenoch Huerta Mejía appears in Son of Monarchs by Alexis Gambis, an official selection of the NEXT section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

After the death of his grandmother, Mendel, a Mexican biologist living in New York, returns to his hometown nestled in the majestic monarch butterfly forests of Michoacán. The journey forces him to confront past traumas and reflect on
his hybrid identity, sparking a personal and spiritual metamorphosis.

First off, I was NOT ready for the amount of butterfly carcass mutilation I would have to witness in the name of science because of this film. It was jarring at times and I had to keep reminding myself they lived long & happy lives at one point. Also, my wife has us visiting Michoacán to see the monarch butterflies firmly planted on our mutual bucket list but I did not realize how scary a million butterflies looked hanging from a branch. In truth, it was mesmerizing.

Tenoch Huerta Mejía appears in Son of Monarchs by Alexis Gambis, an official selection of the NEXT section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

The film finds an incredible way of grabbing hold of you, demanding your attention in the best possible way. With amazing visuals, haunting performances, and… butterflies. Throughout the film you feel this sense of mystery; an unknown that will soon reveal itself to you bringing clarity and euphoria. Unfortunately, the story leaves us craving more, never quite capitalizing on the wave of momentum it was riding.

However, the characters are rich, complex, and beautifully performed by every cast member, in particular our protagonist Tenoch Huerta, from who I hope to see so much more.

Despite my issues with the plot, this film makes me so excited for the future of Latin and Hispanic cinema!

7/10

+ posts
By Raul Navedo

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