Anthropologist and filmmaker Carolina Arias Ortiz returns to Costa Rica, where she spent her childhood. She visits her estranged father. When he is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, death suddenly draws close. At the same time she meets the archaeologist Ifigenia Quintanilla, who is conducting research into one of Costa Rica’s most famous cultural phenomena: the large, pre-Columbian stone spheres found scattered across the landscape, and the many myths associated with them.
The filmmaker uses subdued black and white—the only color we see is in the photos of her mother left by her father—to present the gorgeous natural environment, the miraculous spheres, and other stone objects that may or may not reveal their secrets. Her voice-over, archive images, family photos, and Quintanilla’s philosophically tinged texts connect the personal with the rich history of the country’s original inhabitants. The mysterious stone spheres become a powerful metaphor for our relationship with death and the eternal.