Heart of Time

Institute History

  • 2009 Sundance Film Festival


In the picturesque Chiapas mountains, amidst a Zapatista village populated by free Indigenous Mayans, a beautiful young woman, Sonia, is coming of age. She is betrothed in the traditional manner to Miguel, a valuable young community leader she has known since childhood. Her future seems set until one day, as she meanders along a jungle path, she finds herself staring into the eyes of a handsome rebel fighter, Lieutenant Julio, and falls deeply in love. Sonia’s revolution of the heart threatens the wills and convictions of everyone around her and puts the security of her community, and the entire insurgent army, in danger.

So begins director Alberto Cortés’s extraordinary film, Heart of Time, a rare and intimate look into the heart of the Zapatista revolution in Chiapas, Mexico. Cortés crafts a unique approach to storytelling—a confident mix of romantic drama, Greek chorus, and political intrigue—to relate a multifaceted tale of an epic liberation struggle that spans centuries, from the age of slavery to today’s era of digital media. As Cortés depicts, with striking authenticity, a community that is constantly reinventing the rules of tradition and revolution, he also reveals that the roots of struggle for political freedom are ultimately born out of the tangle of desires to live with a free heart.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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