In 1952, Alberto Ruz rediscovered the city of Uaxac Ahau in Palenque. It took him four years to finally open the entrance to the temple and reveal its wonders.The memory of the stone walls and the petroglyphs will haunt him for several years. Twenty-nine years later, while in Montreal for a holiday with his wife and son, Alberto experienced terrible chest pain. His breathing becomes labored, and though he is lying in his bed in the Hyatt hotel, the walls of his luxurious room vanish and the massive stone walls of Uaxac Ahau rise again before his eyes. The walls lead Alberto inside the temple, considered the entrance to Xibalba (the land of the dead in Mayan culture) and thought to hold the remains of Pakal the Great.
As he walks forward, he feels fulfilled and calm, despite being aware that death is near.
Madrid, 2017. Claudio, Alberto Ruz’s son, stays in touch with Raquel, a journalist who is about to write a biography of the man known for discovering and capturing the first images of Uaxac Ahau. The two are enthusiastic about
reconstructing Alberto’s life as the son of a Cuban living in Paris and a French woman, a man who disliked showering in winter but was keen on swimming in the river without his father’s permission, and, at age nine, a witness of WWI.
Claudio’s testimony will be crucial in telling the story, despite his blurry memory of Alberto as both father and archaeologist.