Directed by: Viktor Jakovleski
Total Runtime: 67 min
Country of Origin: Mexico/USA
Best Documentary Feature, San Francisco International Film Festival; Top Five Documentaries, National Board of Review; Best Music, International Documentary Association
“Brimstone and Glory” is community as catharsis, and you can’t stop staring in stupefied astonishment.”
The National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico is a site of festivity unlike any in the world. In celebration of San Juan de Dios, patron saint of firework-makers, conflagrant revelry engulfs the town for ten days. Artisans show off their technical virtuosity, up-and-comers create their own rowdy, lo-fi combustibles, and dozens of teams build larger-than-life papier-mache bulls to parade into the town’s square, adorned with fireworks that blow up in all directions. More than three quarters of Tultepec’s residents work in pyrotechnics, making the festival more than revelry for revelry’s sake. It is a celebration that anchors a way of life built around a generations-old homegrown business of making fireworks by hand. For the people of Tultepec, the National Pyrotechnic Festival is explosive celebration, unrestrained delight and real peril. Plunging headlong into the fire, Brimstone and Glory honors the spirit of Tultepec’s community and celebrates celebration itself. In Spanish with English subtitles.