BardoDirected by Alejandro González Iñárritu, it documents one man’s cultural rediscovery when he leaves Los Angeles and returns to Mexico. Silverio (Daniel Giménez Cacho), after receiving a prestigious award for his journalistic and documentary work, is suddenly forced to re-examine his Mexican roots. Upon arrival, he struggles with painful past memories and an existential crisis.
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González Iñárritu really began to think about the nature of immigration and belonging when he created Carne y Aréna, a virtual reality installation that gave him the opportunity to speak to more than 500 immigrants crossing the border. “The very nature of being an immigrant resonated very, very deeply,” he said at Deadline’s The Contenders Film: Los Angeles event on Saturday. “We share nostalgia, melancholy – everything you lose when you leave your country.”
Silverio González Iñárritu’s presence in the story, so the director had to find the perfect person. “He found a lot of overlap between us,” Giménez Cacho said. “When it was set up for me, it was really easy because I didn’t have to build or construct a character. While this is Alejandro’s personal story, it has become a very personal story of mine.”
Ximena Lamadrid, who plays Silverio’s daughter Camila, immediately found parallels with her own life. “I’m Mexican, but I grew up in Dubai, then I lived in New York,” he said, “and I only came to Mexico about four years ago. So I finally reconnected… [and when] we shot the movie and I reconnected as Camila wanted to reconnect.”
Creating the surreal world Bardo was a challenge for the craft team, so González Iñárritu’s direction was key for costume designer Anna Terrazas, production designer Eugenio Cabellero and sound designer Martín Hernández, who were also on the panel. “The costumes contributed to this epic dream and made a transition between reality and dreams,” said Terrazas. “We approached this through the use of color.”
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Caballero added, “To have that fluidity, we had to plan the film with great precision.”
Hernández said: “For me, the film is more of a concept album. I feel like you can just put the pin on the vinyl and let it go. … It depends a lot on whether you are captivated by the sound. This would not be possible without Alejandro going into detail.
Check back on Monday for the panel video.