Tuesday, February 25 | 72 min
Juan Antin | 2019
France, Canada, Luxembourg | French (English subtitles)
Set in the Andes, Pachamama is an action adventure story about a young boy Tepulpaï, who dreams of becoming a Shaman and his best friend Naïra. A sacred treasure is taken from their village, they set off on a mission to retrieve this irreplaceable artefact. Tepulpaï must prove himself to be brave, virtuous and trust his instincts. Guided by the Great Condor, they become the heroes of the village.
This animated film has some valuable lessons to offer. Pachamama, which means "mother earth" in an Inca language, illustrates not only the sophistication of ancient civilizations and their achievements – cities, roads, water systems, textiles, governments – but also their weaknesses, including, in this case, a vain and out-of-touch leader. Values are also emphasized. Although the area's plentiful gold is used to fashion artifacts of worship, villagers treat seeds for quinoa, potatoes, and corn as far more valuable and worthy of protection and respect.
— Common Sense Media
There’s no better way of instilling positive attitudes into youngsters than embedding them in their entertainment, and luckily Pachamama works on that basic level of an animated adventure story. (…) Their parents can rest assured that their kids are being entertained by something wholesome, made with passion and care, and with real things on its mind.
— Ready, Steady, Cut
Director Juan Antin has taken a somewhat complicated story — Andean villagers under the heel of the Incas, who are about to be robbed and killed by the Spanish — and boils it down nicely for young audiences. Through the eyes of Tepulpaï and Naïra, it’s an adventure with an easy-to-understand goal: get Huaca back to the village safely. It’s a tale of growth and maturity, but also a tale of a boy who figures out that even someone who wants to be a shaman needs help in order to do some of that growing and maturing. (…) The animation is gorgeous, and we were fascinated with the character design of the Andean villagers, who look and move like humans but also look like ancient sculptures at the same time. Other characters have the same sculpture-like look, and it makes the movie’s visuals as interesting as its story.