“Cosmic Pharaoh” José Manuel is a member of the ufology association Ovni-Levante (UFO-Raise), which meets weekly to exchange information about the latest messages from the stars and abductions down here on Earth. When their leader dies unexpectedly, José becomes humanity’s only hope, the keeper of a cosmic secret. Even more mysteriously, that knowledge ties in to the disappearance of José’s niece Vanessa from the town of Elche.
This movie packs in every conspiracy theory you’ve ever heard — ancient aliens, organ harvesting, secret societies — and places them alongside the very human drama of growing up weird in a dysfunctional family in a small town in the middle of nowhere.
Director and writer Chema García Ibarra has put together something quite strange here and that last image of the Sphinx — inflating as it brings the goofiness, the strange and the everyday together much like the rest of this film — is one that will stick with me for some time.
And that first scene, where Vanessa’s twin sister Verónica gives her class a speech about what devil worshippers look for when they kidnap children? It perfectly sums up the rest of the film, a story about how believers search for meaning and yet often miss the darkness gathering around them if it doesn’t fit the mythology they’ve created for themselves.
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