A visually dazzling meditation on the balance between human and nature, The Guardians poetically interweaves the lives of the threatened monarch butterfly with an indigenous community fighting to restore the forest they nearly destroyed. Migrating 3,000 miles to hibernate in towering Oyamels, the monarch population faces collapse. When the directors started filming The Guardians in 2014, the monarch population hit an all-time record low of 33 million, down from 1 billion just twenty years prior. In the valley below, the people of Donaciano Ojeda struggle to support their families in their ancestral lands now part of the protected Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Santos, a charismatic avocado farmer and Aristeo, a philosophical tree caretaker are the storytellers of the community as they confront internal divisions, illegal loggers and their own mortality. Shot over three years, this cinematic journey through the butterfly dense mountaintops of Michoacan tells an intimate story of a unique community at the front lines of conservation.
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