Son of Monarchs

Director:
Screenwriters: Alexis Gambis

Institute History

  • 2021 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Enchanted by the monarch butterflies of Michoacán, Mexico, since he was a child, Mendel dedicates his career as a scientist in New York to mapping out the monarch’s genetics. But he is haunted by flashbacks of being orphaned alongside his older brother, Simon, when their parents died in a flood. When Mendel travels home to attend the funeral of his grandmother, it's clear Simon harbors deep resentment toward him for having left. Migrating back and forth between Mexico and New York, Mendel starts to neglect his new girlfriend and grows spiritually restless as he obsesses over the iconic butterfly. Then he confronts his brother about what really happened the night their parents died.

Tenoch Huerta delivers a soul-searing performance in this transformative drama by director Alexis Gambis. The film viscerally captures the scientific marvel and splendor of the butterfly, which in turn creates a mythic parallel to Mendel’s primal fears. Son of Monarchs is at once a spiritual and biological quest of the next generation—fulfilling its destiny by never losing sight of ancestral ties.

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize Winner.

— C.D.

Screening Details

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