The Awakening of the Ants

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Costa Rica | 2019 | 94 minutes | Antonella Sudasassi Furniss

On the surface, Isa's life seems lovely: adorable daughters, a pleasant husband. But her surrealist imaginings suggest a suppressed revolt against the societal and domestic pressures placed on her.

For thoughtful, demure young housewife Isa (Daniella Valenciano), life in a lush, postcard-perfect Costa Rican seaside village is far from being anyone's idea of a dream. Pressured by her intrusive and loudly opinionated in-laws to have another baby even as her already cramped household struggles to stay afloat, and tending to the needs of her husband and two daughters while her own desires remain distant and ignored, Isa finds herself suffocated by rigid gender roles and the cloistered, provincial thinking that comes with small-town life. Desperately imagining some other way of living—single, childless, desired—while growing increasingly tense and angry towards those closest to her, Isa unexpectedly becomes more attuned to the natural world and its strangeness, as increasingly vivid and at times surreal dreams and visions take over her waking life, blurring the line between what is and what can be. Soon the young mother finds herself at a breaking point, awakening to her own long-suppressed sexuality and the possibilities of a life lived on her own terms, in this engrossing and intimate feature debut from writer/director Antonella Sudasassi Furniss.

Hebe Tabachnik

Director Biography
Antonella Sudassi Furniss was born in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1986. She studied Media Management and Audiovisual Production and works as a writer and director. In 2017, she took part in the Berlinale Talents programme in Guadalajara. The Awakening of the Ants is her first feature-length film.

Sponsored by Comcast

  • Original Language Title: El despertar de las hormigas
  • Director: Antonella Sudasassi Furniss
  • Principal Cast: Daniella Valenciano, Leynar Gomez, Isabella Moscoso, Avril Alpizar, Adriana Alvarez
  • Premiere Status: North American Premiere
  • Country: Costa Rica, Spain
  • Year: 2019
  • Running Time: 94 minutes
  • Producer: Amaya Izquierdo, Jose Esteban Alenda
  • Screenplay: Antonella Sudasassi Furniss
  • Cinematographers: Andres Campos
  • Editors: Raul de Torres
  • Music: Sergio de la Puente
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: Spanish
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: FiGa Films