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Serpent and the Sun: Tales of an Aztec Apprentice

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Director  Shaahin Cheyene
Language  English
Serpent and the Sun: Tales of an Aztec Apprentice movie poster

Release date  2008 (2008)

Serpent and the Sun: Tales of an Aztec Apprentice is a 2008 documentary film written and directed by Shaahin Cheyene, an Iran-born American businessman. The documentary was filmed in Mexico, and tells the story about the life of the Aztec people in the modern era.


Serpent and the Sun: Tales of an Aztec Apprentice movie scenes Serpent And The Sun Movie

Plot summary

Miktlan Ehekateotl “Ehe” Kuahtlinxan, a 52nd Aztec medicine man came out in the open to convey a message that the cultures, traditions and the Aztec people did not vanish. According to the documentary, more than 1.5 million people in Mexico speak Nahuatl and some of the Aztecan Shamanic healers or Curanderos are opening up and sharing their knowledge about medicinal plants and their healing system which was passed on to them by their ancestors.

The documentary also features the life-changing mentoring of Ehe to Tachi, a young man who was discouraged by his poor economic situation in Mexico City. In desperation, Tachi planned to join the Zapatista rebels in Mexico. Unfortunately, Tachi was fired from his job, which made him more upset. This prompted him to find a sorcerer to spell a curse to his employer. While looking for a sorcerer at Sonora Market in Mexico City Tachi met Ehe. The medicine man cautioned him about the dangers of sorcery and he informed the young Mexican about the spiritual tradition of the Aztecs known as Tetzkatlipoka. Tachi forgot his objective to find a sorcerer and joined Ehe to a spiritual journey, discover his roots and learn about the life and ways of a traditional healer.

The documentary also presents interviews from different experts about the Mayan race, their cultures, traditions and medicine system. The interviewees include Ysamur Flores and De Anna Rivera, from UCLA Tribal Learning Center and Department of World Arts and Culture respectively; Eliseo Flores, ethnographer from University of Mexico and John Bakas, a Greek Orthodox priest. The Serpent and the Sun: Tales of An Aztec Apprentice was filmed by Cheyene in various parts of Mexico including the Pyramids of Teotitlan, the Aztecan Templo Mayor, the mountain ranges of Puebla and Oaxaca and in the streets of Mexico City. The documentary centers on the message that the Aztecan traditional healing system still exists to this day.


  • Native American Filmmaker Award – 2008 Paso Robles Film Festival
  • Best Documentary Brilliant-Life Film festival
  • Serpent and the Sun: Tales of an Aztec Apprentice also won the following awards from the Wild Rose Independent Film Festival:

  • Best Documentary- Shaahin Cheyene
  • Best Original Music-Austin Wintory
  • Best Visual Effects- Mike Goedecke
  • Best Visual Design – Scott Lang & Shawn Lyon
  • The documentary was also nominated as Best Foreign Film at the Buffalo, Niagara Falls Film Festival, and it was selected as entry to the 2008 Mendocino Film Festival, Jules Verne Film Festival, High Definition Film Festival, Non-violence International Film Festival and to the Masson Film Festival.


    Serpent and the Sun: Tales of an Aztec Apprentice Wikipedia