5 user 6 critic

Chac (1975)

Chac: Dios de la lluvia (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 24 November 1976 (France)
Unique story of a village's attempts to solve drought by appealing to the powers of a mysterious mountain-dwelling diviner.


Rolando Klein


Rolando Klein

On Disc

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Cast overview:
Pablo Canche Balam Pablo Canche Balam ... The Diviner
Alonzo Mendez Ton Alonzo Mendez Ton ... The Cacique
Sebastian Santis Sebastian Santis ... Mute Boy
Pedro Tiez Pedro Tiez ... Father
Antonio Osil Antonio Osil ... Principale
Antonio Ton Antonio Ton ... Principale
Alonso Puj Alonso Puj ... Principale
Antonio Castellanos Antonio Castellanos ... First Captain


A very unique and incredible film, Rolando Klein made it in 1974 after spending two years living among the Tzeltal Indians of Chiapas, collecting stories, events, and anecdotes from their culture. A graduate of UCLA film school and of Chilean birth, Klein "returned to his Hispanic roots" at the urging of director and mentor Jules Dassin in 1972. A village is experiencing a drought detrimental to their crops and, resultantly, their survival. After only failure comes from consultation with their usual shaman, they attempt to gain aid from a mysterious diviner living in the mountains, who is said to practice the ancient ways forgotten by all else in the village. After securing his help, the diviner leads twelve tribesmen on a long journey as part of the rain-bringing ceremony. Eventually they return to the village to enact the ceremony proper, and incredible events ensue. In the meantime, there is always skepticism of the diviner's abilities; indeed, he might be merely bewitching the ... Written by Mark Toscano <fiddybop@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A mystical quest in the spirit of Carlos Casteneda. See more »


Adventure | Drama


Not Rated



Mexico | Panama


Tzotzil | Maya

Release Date:

24 November 1976 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Chac See more »

Filming Locations:

Tenejapa, Chiapas, Mexico

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

A nuanced, subtle view into an unfamiliar culture and mythos.
17 November 2001 | by JadeJaguarSee all my reviews

I saw Chac when it first came out, and have wanted to see it again ever since. I have now seen the restored film, And I was not disappointed. Chac is an amazing and unique film. Made entirely with non actors, they give a better performance than any professionals could have. Chac is a simple and direct folk tale, but rich with subtleties. The story reminds one of something by B. Traven, the reclusive author of The Treasure Of Sierra Madre and Macario. The setting, the forests of Chiapas, Mexico, reminds one of John Boorman's The Emerald Forest, but is completely lacking in artifice. The direct, but nuanced portrayals of the characters and story is much like Japanese film, such as Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. It could only be made by someone who knows and cares for its subjects deeply. It is a setting, culture and mythos unfamiliar to most of us, that is presented in such a way as to be at once mystical, and as ordinary as walking across the street. I highly recommend it.

The restored print looked good, but this is not Hollywood film making, and was made under difficult conditions, to say the least. The only damage I saw as a distraction is a small colored scratch in the center of the screen during a very dark scene with small, lit subjects in the middle of the screen. There are also variations in the color of film stock.

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