Grandfather Fire is a short student documentary coming from director Emir Luciano Tlachi Sandoval. The film focuses on the traditions in Mexico inherited and preserved by people from their indigenous ancestors.

Emir Sandoval’s short flick tells us about the strong communion with nature that people used to have and about the importance they used to give to it. This is a connection that has now started to strongly dilute.


It is memorable the way a woman talks about the importance of asking for permission whenever we access a place (e.g. a river) in order to prevent incidents (e.g. drowning). She also speaks about the Grandfather Fire as fire being the symbol of families coming together – at home families gather in the kitchen around the fire. The overview the director’s film proposes triggers reflection on the humbleness required to link with nature. Man has forgotten to be humble, to be grateful, he is governing with force subdue nature, be it voluntarily or involuntarily. This lack of gratefulness and respect has lead to breaking ties with the environment and made man lose their sacrality. The subjects in the short documentary focus on praising the attempt to revive these values and reconnect with Mother Earth. Considering this is a student film, ‘Grandfather Fire’ is well shot, though simple in its guise. It is also short, keeping things concise and concentrating on the most important. The director has a good ability to select the material and keep things legitimate, excluding the ballast.

‘Grandfather Fire’ is an invitation to ponder on human condition and especially on the importance and our duty as humans of cultivating gratitude in our relationship with the universe. It makes one think about the course things might have taken, us being more aware of the necessity to cherish what is given to us. Modern life offers a degree of comfort hard to equal, but in this comfort it is hard to spot the value of the resources we access: use a match stick and light a fire, pull the tap and water flows and so on. Emir Sandoval’s film triggers awareness, proposing to exercise our consideration towards our origins and encouraging us to look back at our traditions, values and the secrets concealed by them.