Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu talks to Flare

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Babel

Life and Death with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Fresh off his win for Best Director at Cannes, Flare sat down with director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams) at the Toronto International Film Festival to discuss the final film in his “trilogy of life,” the Oscar-hyped Babel

FLARE: Babel was shot on location in Morocco, Tunisia, Mexico, Japan and the U.S.  Did you face any barriers filming abroad?
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu: No. The local people were the most generous and beautiful. I always felt welcome.  They’re very poor, even when they just have nuts and goat milk and tea, they offer you that.  They’re blessed by a very spiritual connection.

F: What is the message you’re trying to convey in this film?
AGI: It is about prejudices. The real borderlines are not physical, they’re within us. If more Americans had passports, we would not have all of these wars.

F: How was it for Brad and Cate [Blanchett] working with so many non-actors?
AGI:  Intense, it demands a lot of patience.

F: Is it true that you considered Stephane Rousseau from The Barbarian Invasions for the part played by Brad Pitt? 
AGI: He’s good, I thought about him. I had a lot of possibilities in mind, but I do like him a lot!

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Flare.com Asks… Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, cont’d

F: You dedicated this movie to your children. Are you anxious about their future in this world?
AGI: Yes, I worry about the way the world is headed now. When you have more power than culture like the United States or Tony Blair, it’s a very dangerous moment for history. The theory that those who aren’t with us are against us is really messing things up around the world. 

F: You’re known for your fractured time lines, why do you favor this structure?
AGI: Because it is how the world happens, things are happening right now that will affect you and I that we don’t know about. It also creates dramatic tension.

F: Are we going to get a lighter film from you next?
AGI: I find Babel very hopeful. It’s not as devastating as 21 Grams. I was consciously trying to get light in the end. The characters really learn and change and redeem themselves. Even when there’s sadness in the world, there’s always some sweetness.

F: Critics have been noting death as the overriding theme in your trilogy, do you agree with this conclusion?
AGI: The main thing is that the three of these films are about parents and children, the complexity and fragility of these relationships.  They also involve interconnected plots either physically or emotionally.  I think that these films are more about life than death.  In western cultures we try to avoid death, we don’t want to see it.  Hence, all of the surgery and botox and things. We don’t want to recognize death as a part of life.

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