Dark Suns


Documentary — Quebec — 2018 — 154 min
Black and White | Spanish with French and English subtitles


An elusive evil has taken over Mexico. Twenty years ago, the screams of young women echoed in the northern regions of the country, victims of unprecedented misogynistic fury. Behind the volcanoes of the capital, hundreds more suffered the same fate in recent years. Elsewhere, farmers, students as well as travellers disappear from roads while several journalists are gunned down. This climate of impunity opens the door to all abuses, and the entire country lives in terror. Some raise their voices, denouncing and investigating, while others, armed with shovels and trying to avoid ambushes, look for the missing people. As testimonies and discoveries add up, the truth slowly emerges. DARK SUNS depicts an overview of several regions in Mexico, while the harrowing occurrences of forced disappearances take on ever more worrying proportions. The film, divided in six chapters, gives voice to a multitude of characters, often both witness and victim, who observe the destruction of their country almost helplessly. They are journalists, lawyers, and mothers of the disappeared or even human rights activists. Many must hide and live underground to escape the threats. In Mexico, death prowls around and fear is everywhere.

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  • Direction and scriptwriting : Julien Élie, d’après Des os dans le désert de Sergio González Rodríguez
  • Production : Julien Élie, Amaia Aldamiz, Richard Brouillette (Cinéma Belmopán, División Del Norte)
  • Direction of photography : Ernesto Pardo, François Messier-Rheault
  • Editing : Aube Foglia
  • Sound Design : Daniel Capeille, Gabriel Villegas, Bernard Gariépy Strobl
  • Original Score : Mimi Allard
  • Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), 2018 *Grand Prize
  • Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, 2019 *Human Rights Award
  • CPH : DOX, 2019 *F:ACT Award
  • Nashville Film Festival, 2019 *Grand Jury Prize
  • Sheffield International Documentary Festival, 2019
  • Zurich Film Festival, 2019
  • DocAviv Film Festival, 2019
  • DocsBarcelona, 2019
  • Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival, 2019
  • DOXA Documentary Film Festival, 2019 *Colin Low Award for Canadian Documentary
  • International Film Festival of Marseille (FID Marseille), 2019
  • FICUMAN Festival International de Cine UNAM, 2019 *Special Mention of Journalistic Achievement; Public Award
  • Hamburg Film Festival, 2019 *Sichtwechsel Film Award
  • International Documentary Association, 2019
  • Millennium Docs Against Gravity, 2019 *Amnesty International Award – Special Mention
  • Cinema Eye Honors Awards – US, 2020
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