Domingo and the Mist
In this Cannes-premiering drama, a widower resists attempts to oust him from the land where his wife’s spirit returns to him as an ethereal mist.
Widowed dairy farmer Domingo is one of the last staunch holdouts from predatory developers who want to build a new highway through his property. He can’t leave his rural Costa Rican home because he believes his dead wife returns to him there at night in the form of an uncanny mist, which spreads and swirls around him as he sleeps, speaking words of love. Between vaporous visits, Domingo continues to stand his ground in his bright yellow raincoat: walking rainforest paths to visit neighbours and his grown-up daughter, resisting the developers’ intensifying bribes and threats.
Director Ariel Escalante Meza has crafted an intensely textural, immersive film whose dreamlike interest in ghosts and memories invites comparisons to Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Memoria, originally slated for MIFF 2021; Cemetery of Splendour, MIFF 2015). Its seductive mist effects, which unravel into an enveloping motif throughout the film, are all practical, captured on set. Escalante follows his 65-year-old protagonist meditatively through his everyday routine, but his anti-capitalist critique is as trenchant as his titular fog is gentle.
“Mystical … As heartrendingly emotional as it is bitingly political.” – Little White Lies
DirectorAriel Escalante Meza
ProducerNicolás Wong Díaz
ProducerFelipe Zúñiga Sánchez
ProducerGabriela Fonseca Villalobos
ProducerJulio Hernández Cordón
ProducerAriel Escalante Meza
ScreenwriterAriel Escalante Meza
CinematographerNicolás Wong Díaz
EditorLorenzo Mora Salazar
Spanish, with English subtitles
Costa Rica, Qatar