The Enchantment of Consciousness

​​The enchantment of consciousness recounts the meeting between Leonardo, the director of the film, and Arcelia, a woman calling herself the “Blue Woman” and a self-described “Demon Goddess.” Through rituals that arbitrarily mix elements from different Mexican indigenous cultures and the use of entheogens, she shows Leonardo a violent approach to spirituality, driving the young director to the darkest experience of his life.

  • La Furia Cine
    Production Company
  • Malandra Media
    Production Company
    Production Company
  • Leonardo García Castilla
  • Leonardo García Castilla
  • Bárbara Merlos
  • Bárbara Merlos
    Executive Producer
  • Yuli Rodríguez
    Executive Producer
  • Leonardo García Castilla
    Executive Producer
  • Arcelia Arteaga
    Key Cast
  • Julia Julieta Casimiro Estrada
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    El encantamiento de la concienca
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 26 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
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Director Biography - Leonardo García Castilla

Leonardo García Castilla is a director and cinematographer of documentary films and a graduate of both the Bachelor of Audiovisual Arts program at the University of Guadalajara and the Master of Arts in Documentary Cinema program at the National School of Cinematographic Arts in Mexico City. He has directed and produced various documentaries for outlets like National Geographic Latin America, Vice in Spanish and the Salvadorean newspaper El Faro.

Throughout his career he has distinguished himself as a multi-disciplinarian by photographing documentaries like “Yo no soy guapo" ("I am not handsome)” by Joyce García, “Hasta los dientes" ("Armed to the teeth”) and "Nómadas de la 57"(“Nomads of 57”) by Alberto Arnaut, and editing the documentary "La Nebulosa de Emiliano" (“Emiliano’s Nebula”) by Berenice Soto. He is about to premiere his debut feature film "El encantamiento de la conciencia" (“The enchantment of consciousness”), which he also photographed and edited.

Cofounder of La Furia Cine, a collective dedicated to the creation of documentary cinema and audience formation. He believes in the power of cinema, the need to make it more inclusive, and finding narratives all his own that do justice to its stories, characters and context.

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Director Statement

The enchantment of consciousness portrays my personal quest to find answers to my inquiries about spirituality, which led me to discover a spiritual guide that is capable of attracting vulnerable people and prey on their fears from a dominant position. In this way I realized there is a thin line between being guided and controlled by someone else.

I met Arcelia 10 years ago, in 2011. Thanks to her I had one of the most amazing experiences in my life: a peyote ceremony in the Wirikuta desert. A year later we started to shoot The enchantment of consciousness. We had planned to shoot for all of 2012, the year of the cycle change in the Maya calendar, but I ended up with only three days’ worth of footage, because once she showed me the demons in her subconscious, I stopped trusting her and grew afraid of her.

For many years I tried to forget what I had lived through, what I had shot. Many times, I doubted whether to even keep it, and I was tempted to just format the disk drives and give up on the idea of making a film with that footage. That is why the editing process was so long, since it took such a psychological toll to face the footage.

Nevertheless, I feel the wait was worth it, since the documentary evolved, and I realized the story wasn’t only about Arcelia anymore, but also about me getting to know her. What started as a portrait of the Demon Goddess ended up being a self-portrait, a film about the way I perceived the violence she inflicted on her followers, my reaction when she attempted to do so on me, and also a way for me to try to heal the wounds that still hurt me.

With The enchantment of consciousness, I try to identify with everyone who has been in similar situations of vulnerability, be it during spiritual ceremonies, quests, or any everyday situation where a person has power over another, and to remind them that many times the power to get away from those situations resides within oneself.