FANTASIA FEST 2021: ‘All The Moons’ Goes for the Heart, Rather Than the Jugular

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ALL THE MOONS - But Why Tho

The vampire subgenre has been popular long enough that even the “off the beaten path” takes are well worn. This does not deter the fantastical exploration of All The Moons, for the film manages to take all that’s known about vampires on film and add a deeper level of sophistication. It does not reinvent the elements but the tone, resulting in an utterly gorgeous film.

In the midst of the ravages of war in 1876 Spain, an orphanage is bombed, leaving a young girl gravely injured. A woman happens upon the girl and pities her in her suffering, and offers her a gift – or, perhaps, a curse – that will save her life. For the first time in her life, the young girl has the promise of a home and an eternal mother. That happiness is short-lived as the girl and her adoptive mother are separated and the girl finds herself alone in the world again. Spanning decades, All The Moons, this child will continue her search for purpose, identity, and family in a life that stretches on and on.

All The Moons is directed by Igor Legarreta, who shares a writing credit with Jon Sagala. The film stars Josean Bengoetxea, Haizea Carneros, and Itziar Ituño.

Igor Legarreta’s version of the vampire is a subtler take… at least, we think it is. Viewers are only given glimpses of the true nature of the vampire that the film’s young heroine has become. Through intentional shots and beats, and precious little narrative context, we are able to piece together the basics like her thirst for blood and aversion to the sun. This choice is about more than elegant restraint – not to undersell its sophistication. Rather than being seduced by the otherness of a monster, the decision to keep the girl’s vampire identity shrouded in mystery allows us to connect with her humanity first and foremost.

Loneliness is a common thread in all vampire films but it is the beating heart of All The Moons. The girl’s entire life, as a human and as a vampire, is defined by profound loneliness. She is all alone in the world, both as an orphan and as a strange creature with no creator to look to. Her loneliness is made all the more tragic by the realization that she cannot be understood wholly by any living person. Her identity, her history, and her core self condemn her to a life alone.

These themes of loneliness continue into her ultimate search for a family and a place within the world. So much of the character’s exploration has as much to do with finding a means of fitting into the natural order as it does finding companions. Death and renewal, and loneliness and blossoming friendship, are equal halves to a single whole. This girl is a steady point of eternal isolation within an ever-shifting pastoral landscape that teems with life. Setting the film in this sort of idyllic nature creates timeless beauty in All The Moons while bolstering these stronger thematic elements.

Igor Legarreta has created something incredible within All The Moons. A disarming, but enchanting take on the vampire legend that is grounded in the most human experiences and emotions. Every shot is a painting. Every performance hits the target. In a word: stunning.

All The Moons made its International Premiere on August 19, 2021 at the Fantasia International Film Festival.

 

All The Moons

TL;DR

Igor Legarreta has created something incredible within All The Moons. A disarming, but enchanting take on the vampire legend that is grounded in the most human experiences and emotions. Every shot is a painting. Every performance hits the target. In a word: stunning.