Brimstone & Glory

The National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico is a site of festivity unlike any other in the world. In celebration of San Juan de Dios, patron saint of firework makers, conflagrant revelry engulfs the town for ten days. Artisans show off their technical virtuosity, up-and-comers create their own rowdy, lo-fi combustibles and dozens of teams build larger-than-life papier-mâché bulls to parade into the town square, adorned with fireworks that blow up in all directions. More than three quarters of Tultepec’s residents work in pyrotechnics, making the festival more than revelry for revelry’s sake. Plunging headlong into the fire, “Brimstone & Glory” is an ode to a way of life that’s built around traditional, handmade pyrotechnics, a stunning (and, undeniably, ear-splitting) celebration of celebration itself that walks the fine line between pure, unadulterated joy and sheet terror. In one of the most impressive debuts in recent years, director Viktor Jakovleski immerses himself in the hallucinogenic spirit of the occasion, putting his own life in danger in order to document the ecstasy and the nearly impressionistic beauty of the most explosive party on earth!