Brimstone & Glory

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


    Viktor Jakovleski’s IMDb page makes for fascinatingly eclectic reading: he is credited as Eric Bana’s driver on Hanna (2011), as George Clooney’s assistant on The Monuments Men (2014), and as a producer on the music video for MGMT’s hit single “Electric Feel” (2007). This varied array of roles belies the singular focus of his debut documentary, an intermittently poetic and immersive portrait of explosive transcendence. Brimstone & Glory observes the weeklong preparations and festivities as the city of Tultepec — which a title card informs us is Mexico’s fireworks capital — hosts the National Pyrotechnics Festival. The annual event, held in March, sees locals assembling homemade fireworks which are set off at night to honour Juan De Dios, a Catholic saint who founded the Hospitaller Order of the Brothers of Saint John of God in 1572 and who is colloquially known for a story in which he rescued inmates from a fire in Granada’s Royal Hospital in 1549. We’re told that the festival encompasses two events: the Castles of Fire and the Burning of the Bulls. These names rightly suggest some kind of apocalyptic medieval horror, but here they function as the first of a series of dualisms that structure the film.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages2
    Specialist publicationFour Three Film
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2017


    • Viktor Jakovleski
    • Brimstone & Glory
    • Film commentary


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