Julio Hernández Cordón’s vampire tale “The Day is Long and Dark” (“El Día es Largo y Oscuro”) is unveiling first images and trailer, which world premieres at Cannes’ Fantastic Pavilion.
Alina Rojas, Diana Bustamante and Hernández Cordón produce, for La Mitad del Continente (Mexico) and Burning (Colombia).
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The film, currently in post-production, dives into a complicated family dynamic as Vera, a 17-year-old girl, needs to learn how to live with her “vampirism gene.”
Prisoners of the sun, she and her father, Cruz, spend their days in hotel rooms until she can’t take it: Feeling guilty and misunderstood, and missing her boyfriend she is afraid of hurting, Vera wants to die. Suddenly, her father – who is also a film director – has two missions in life. He can’t let her attack anyone but he also needs to make sure she doesn’t commit suicide.
Luis Alberti and Carla Nieto star, with Mila Mijangos and Eli Acosta making their feature debut. The score is by Alberto Torres and band Hospital de México, with Alexa Bas on board as a cinematographer.
“It’s a story about DNA, about what we inherit and the cycles we repeat in our families. These nightmares carried along from generation to generation,” says the director.
“The daughter is furious with her father for what she is. He feels responsible. But to change, it’s essential to have a calm mind, concentrate and control your instincts. He sees in her what he used to be, how he used to suffer and it hurts him. He wants to be there for her but he doesn’t know how.”
Such elements turn “The Day is Long and Dark” into a story about “imperfect parenting,” he observes.
“He can’t find a solution to ease his daughter’s anxiety, depression and anger. It’s a film that talks about [what it means to be] neurodivergent and what it’s like to constantly walk on eggshells.”
Hernández Cordón describes his characters as “descendants of biblical Cain.”
“He is considered as the first vampire, forced to wander the world as punishment, unable to enjoy sunshine and [plagued with] unquenchable thirst for blood. Just like them,” he states. But there is fascination that humans share for those who are “condemned,” even though they also possess extreme strength.
“They are outsiders: extremely seductive, sensual and dangerous. Vampires are, and will be, a part of world’s cinema history,” he notes, adding that as a storyteller, he “likes to portray free will.”
“I like this duality when good people decide to commit heinous acts. My characters are neither good nor bad, they are human and their mistakes are [an outcome of] conscious decisions. And that’s what’s really scary. I just like to portray fragility, love and anger that can exist within one person.”
For the director who previously racked up awards for “The Howls” or “Buy Me a Gun,” it will mark the first proper fling with genre.
“To the untrained eye, Julio doesn’t come off as a genre director, but I’ve always known he could walk amongst us,” assures Fantastic Pavilion’s executive director Pablo Guisa Koestinger.
“With this film, he comes out of the coffin. And delivers a different kind of vampire film from Latin America to the world.”
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