Have you ever left a theatre and felt like your heart was in the sky? That would happen to me every time I went to the cinema as a kid; it would take me such a long time to return to reality afterwards. Now, possibly because I’m always watching something, those moments are few and far between.
The Movie Teller is the story of a young girl, Maria Margarita, whose whole family loves movies but becomes unable to keep their tradition of a Sunday trip to the cinema because they can no longer afford for all of them to go. After discovering she has a gift for storytelling, they send her off by herself to watch the films and recount them to the family once she gets back. She starts to do this for the community and continues to do so into adulthood, even with the tragedies that come her way, until advancements in technology change the way that movies are consumed.
Maria has that ‘heart in the sky’ feeling that I was talking about earlier every time she sees or retells a film, and it seems to be an eternal optimism that guides her through the hardships of her life. As I left the theatre after watching this movie, I thought of how hopeful movies used to make me. I thought about how I still somewhat have my head in the clouds, even though I know I’m an adult now and try to be realistic about life. And I thought about how I would love to freely find the magic in my everyday life without feeling like I should have left all that in my childhood.
The Movie Teller captures how movies can bring that magic to the world, moving people with joy and tears and something I think we all need, hope.
The Movie Teller is playing at TIFF ’23.