Expired August 20, 2021 3:59 AM
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This screening is presented in in partnership with The Walters Art Museum.

In 1964, the largest carved stone of the Americas was moved from the town of San Miguel Cuatlinchan in the municipality of Texcoco to the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City in an impressive feat of engineering. The extraction of the monolith, which represents the pre-Hispanic water deity, set off a rebellion in the town and led to the intervention of the army.

Today, the enormous stone, now upright, is an urban monument; it has been transformed into one of the principal icons of Mexican national identity. The inhabitants of Coatlinchan insist that the removal of the stone has caused droughts. Representations and replicas of the absent stone appear everywhere in Coatlinchan, where it resonates in the memories of the inhabitants. Using animations, archival materials and contemporary encounters with the protagonists of the transport of the stone, this documentary explores the relevance of the ruins of the past in the present day.

Join a live discussion with the directors and with Ellen Hoobler, William B. Ziff, Jr., Associate Curator of the Art of the Americas, 1200 BCE–1500 CE.

Artist Talk: The Absent Stone with Jesse Lerner and Sandra Rosental

August 5, 2021, 5:30–6 p.m


  • Year
  • Runtime
    82 minutes
  • Language
    Spanish with English subtitles
  • Country
    Mexico, United States
  • Director
    Sandra Rozental and Jesse Lerner
  • Producer
    Sandra Rozental and Jesse Lerner
  • Cinematographer
    Jesse Lerner
  • Editor
    Jesse Lerner
  • Sound Design
    Michael Kowalski, Sara Harris
  • Music
    Familia Chavarría