May 19, 2014 11:16 AM EDT

On May 23, the Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky will release his first film in over two decades: The Dance of Reality, an autobiographical movie shot in the director’s own hometown.

Though the film was based on his own experiences, Jodorowsky relies heavily on metaphor and myth to tell the story of his childhood, as seen through the lens of his belief that reality is created by the imagination.

“To me, this film is like a mental atomic bomb,” the filmmaker says in his notes on the movie. “I have written books and invented a therapy called ‘psychomagic’ that involves acts to heal family-related childhood psychological problems. The Dance of Reality is not just a film, but also a kind of family healing because three of my sons act in it. I am going back to the source of my childhood, to the same place where I grew up, in order to reinvent myself.”

An exclusive sneak-peek clip from the film can be seen here.

Write to Lily Rothman at

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