When King Motecuzoma dies in 1468, a drought sets upon the Mexicas’ land. After four years the Mexicas debate whether they should continue to worship the war god Huitzilopchtli or if they have neglected his mother, the forgotten goddess Coatlicue in Atzlan, the land of their ancestors. The younger Motecuzoma sends a retinue of soldiers, and the peasant Ollin, on a journey back to Aztlán. Ollin and the royal delegate each take different paths, and each comes upon a different Coatlicue. The first Coatlicue is disappointed in Ollin’s gift of corn, cocoa, blankets and jewels, which have turned to dust by the time they reach her. The second Coatlicue is equally disappointed in the gift of the royal delegates, telling them that their own food and way of life have cursed them and prevented them from ever returning to Aztlan. This mysterious film exults in the bizarre and exotic, leaving everything unexplained. Retorno a Aztlan may have been the inspiration for Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. Juan Mora Catlett’s next film was Erendira Ikikunari.
Director/writer:Juan Mora Catlett
Year/length:1989. 90 minutes.