Kafka wrote The Metamorphosis in three weeks at the end of 1912. He finally published in 1915. The story begins with that unsettling incident we all know by heart: Gregor Samsa, a salesman, gets out of bed one day transformed into a monstrous insect.
It’s an undisputable masterpiece. As such, its interpretations are endless, probably due to its acute and direct prose. That infinity of our endless postponement, our endless labyrinthine nightmares, those endless faceless bureaucracies where no one is informed of anything, which has been the through line in Kafka’s work.
Mexicomorphosis joins these interpretations on the novel’s publication’s centennial, with the idea of a transformation within a natural cycle of change that concludes and leads to the origin of different forms of life. Even though this transformation rises from the impotence of an insect, from a marginalized and not-understood voice, yearns to be listened to and engaged in dialogue.
Some critics see The Metamorphosis as a metaphor about the futile efforts from a sensitive spirit to be heard, the failed attempts of communication made by a man of words, an artist, a poet.
One bitter line from the book says: “Since he was not comprehensible, no one, not even his sister, thought that he might be able to understand others…” Gregor’s story thus becomes an analogy for the stories of many people within Mexico: stories about people of various ages and occupations that suffer from a lack of understanding. It is also equivalent to the story of the artist: the writer, the painter, the filmmaker… lives that desperately attempt to flourish in a country blinded to what appears to boil down to nothing more than exploiting its resources.
These people find their efforts met with a soil that doesn’t accommodate or nurture them, a soil that expels them and then ironically laments it when another soil accommodates them in a land where their contributions are a priority.
In The Metamorphosis, Gregor has no choice but to slowly disappear from his family, even when he can’t stop talking about what he sees outside the window, which is why his wounds, hunger, thirst, everything he lacks, it all aches. This happens also to the modern-day poet. He needs to say things. He needs to say it all. Even if what he has to say is not spoken of in our modern society.
Kafka says: “If the book we are reading –music we are listening to, film we are watching- does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it?… A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
With the illusion of this cluster toward hopeful ideas, Mexicomorphosis intends to foster this transformation towards listening, towards positivity. Through art, through film, through movies that show what needs to be seen and it does so somewhat against the current, with the ever-present danger of going back to its initial standstill.
Mexicomorphosis has set the stage for dialogue, for showing chance and for no longer remaining silent toward death. It paves the way for transformational filmmaking.