Films & Schedules

  • Dioses

  • Josué Méndez

Peru/Argentina/France/ Germany
91 minutes

Production Company:
Chullachaki Producciones/TS-Productions/ Lagarto Cine/Mil Colores Media/Cachoeira Films
Executive Producer:
Josué Méndez, Enid Campos
Enid Campos, Josué Méndez
Josué Méndez
Production Designer:
Giuseppe de Bernardi
Mario Bassino
Roberto Benavides
Francisco Adrianzén
Leonardo Barbuy
Principal Cast: Maricielo Effio, Sergio Gjurinovic, Anahí de Cárdenas, Edgar Saba, Cristina Salleses

International Sales Agent:
Doc&Film International

Saturday September 0612:45PM AMC 7 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Sunday September 0709:30PM AMC 5 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Friday September 1206:15PM AMC 5 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Josué Méndez's debut feature, Days of Santiago, chronicled the difficulties of a soldier attempting to integrate into civilian life after Peru's war with Ecuador. That work announced the arrival of a new cinematic voice from Peru; Méndez's second venture into feature filmmaking confirms his place as one of Latin America's most compelling emerging filmmakers.

Dioses explores the enclosed environment of Peru's upper class and the two-tiered societies that are all too common in Latin American countries. Diego (Sergio Gjurinovic) is in love with his older sister, Andrea (Anahí de Cárdenas). At twenty-one, she is a beautiful waif, a model who is more concerned with partying with her friends than anything else. She is constantly maddening her tyrannical father, Agustín (Edgar Saba), who is obsessed with keeping up appearances – unless his own desires are involved, of course. Agustín has recently brought his latest girlfriend home. Elisa (Maricielo Effio), twenty years his junior and from a lower class, is determined to outsmart the rules of the game and become the lady of the house.

Méndez brilliantly uses the story of this family and their environment to describe the decadence that cushions Peru's elite, who have isolated themselves from the social and economic reality facing the majority of their country. Rich youth spend their time dancing, doing drugs or sleeping off hangovers; their parents sip at drinks as they banter senselessly. While they sleep, their Indigenous cleaning staff ensures that all will be pristine when they wake up. The film richly describes a lack of pride for what is local, as idle youngsters like Diego and Andrea listen exclusively to techno while their parents dance to flamenco music. In one scene, Elisa has a nightmare that her grandmother appears before her in Indigenous clothing – a subconscious manifestation of a failing connection to Peru's origins that has devastating effects.

Méndez's account of this decay in Peruvian society can be translated across Latin America and many parts of the world; the story is absorbing, but the reality it depicts is truly troubling.

Diana Sanchez

Josué Méndez was born in Lima and studied film and Latin American studies at Yale University. His first feature, Days of Santiago (04), won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Fribourg International Film Festival. Dioses (08), his second film, was developed as part of the Cinéfondation residence programme of the Cannes Film Festival.

Cadillac People's Choice Award