Son of Monarchs (Hijo de Monarcas)

No Longer Available



The Main 3 Sun, Oct 10, 2021 5:00 PM
Ticket Prices
General Public:$10.00 (+$2 online fee)
Members:$5.00 (no online fee)
Film Info
Original Title:Hijo de Monarcas
Festival Programs:Cine Latino
Bright New Voices
Science & Technology
Family Drama
Culture & Society
Release Year:2021
Runtime:97 min
Festivals & Awards:Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize
Sundance Film Festival 2021
Website:Official Website
Print Source:The Film Sales Company
Director:Alexis Gambis
Executive Producer:Alexis Gambis
Thomas Campbell Jackson
Matthew Putman
Gerry Ohrstrom
Producer:Abraham Dayan
Maria Altamirano
Cinematographer:Alejandro Mejía
Screenwriter:Alexis Gambis
Editor:Èlia Gasull Balada & Alexis Gambis
Composer:Cristobal MarYán
Principal Cast:Tenoch Huerta Mejía
Alexia Rasmussen
Lázaro Gabino Rodríguez
Noé Hernández
Kaarlo Isaacs
Ángel Adrián Flores
Ignacio Guadalupe


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As children, naturally inquisitive Mendel (Tenoch Huerta Mejia, Sin Nombre, Tigers Are Not Afraid) and his combative older brother Simon (Noe Hernandez, Nudo Mixteco, Knife + Heart>) were able to witness a scene of natural awe and wonder few ever experience: to be in the mountain forests of Michoacan, surrounded by millions upon millions of monarch butterflies on their annual migratory journey south for the winter. Now a scientist living in New York studying the genetic switches controlling butterflies’ vibrant wing patterns, Mendel quietly makes a life within the concrete canyons of the city, buried in his research and tentatively entering into a relationship with trapeze artist Sarah (Alexia Rasmussen). But when he’s called back to Angangueo to tend to his dying grandmother, Mendel quickly finds himself at odds with his hot-tempered brother, now a miner participating in the exploitation of the land’s natural resources. Soon uncovering the truth behind the trauma that has plagued him, Mendel must confront the responsibility he carries as one fortunate enough to leave against the realities of those left behind within a community intimately tied to nature’s migratory patterns in this visually stunning, sensitively drawn portrait of metamorphosis, migration and finding our place from writer/director Alexis Gambis.

De niños, el inquisitivo Mendel (Tenoch Huerta Mejia, Sin Nombre, Tigers Are Not Afraid) y su hermano mayor combativo Simon (Noe Hernandez, Nudo Mixteco, Knife + Heart>) presenciaron una escena asombrosa y maravillosa que pocos pueden experimentar: estar en la bosques montañosos de Michoacán, rodeados de millones de mariposas monarca en su migración anual al sur en el invierno. Hoy, Mendel es un científico en Nueva York estudiando las llaves genéticas que controlan los patrones vibrantes de las alas de las mariposas, haciendo su vida tranquila en los cañones de concreto de la ciudad, ensimismado en su investigación y comenzando una relación con la trapecista Sarah (Alexia Rasmussen). Pero cuando él es llamado a volver a Angangueo para cuidar de su abuela moribunda, Mendel, muy pronto se enfrenta a su hermano de mal genio, que es un minero participando en la explotación de los recursos naturales de la tierra. Mendel descubre la verdad sobre el trauma que ha atormentado a su hermano, Mendel debe enfrentar la responsabilidad que conlleva ser alguien afortunado de poder marcharse opuesto a la realidad de aquellos que permanecen en la comunidad ligados íntimamente a los ciclos migratorios de la naturaleza, en esta representación visualmente sorprendente y sensible de la metamorfosis, migración y encontrar nuestro lugar en el mundo, del guionista y director Alexis Gambis.

Director Biography

Alexis Gambis

Alexis Gambis is a French-Venezuelan filmmaker and biologist. His films combine documentary and fiction, often embracing animal perspectives and experimenting with new forms of scientific storytelling. In 2008, he founded the Imagine Science Film Festival that recently celebrated its 13th year of showcasing science in film from around the world. In 2016, he launched the sister portal Labocine. Coined the "Netflix for science," the VOD platform provides a virtual ecosystem to experience science cinema in all its flavors by hybridizing forms, and fostering a dialogue between scientists, artists and educator. His latest feature Son of Monarchs dissects through issues of identity, (im)migration and animal/human evolution. This Mexican-American bilingual allegorical drama had its home premiere in October 2020 at the 18th Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia and International Premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. The film was awarded the 2021 Alfred P. Sloan Prize, awarded every year to a film at the Sundance Film Festival that focuses on science or technology as a theme, or depicts a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a major character. As a recipient of the 2019 TED Fellowship, his TED Talk makes a case for more science in fiction to humanize the scientist in the public eye and to inform a broader audience on the interplay of research advancements, scientific representations and social issues. Alexis is currently working on two feature-length projects. His upcoming French-American docu-fiction entitled Mousetrap brings together memory, mice and magical realism in a haunting story about a young behavioral scientist obsessed by his childhood home. His next biopic, currently in development, entitled El Beso is about a retro-futurist journey into the life and science fiction writings of early 20th century Spanish father of neuroscience, Santiago Ramón y Cajal.