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A. G. Inarritu's 'Babel' (2006)

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We will study the movie 'Babel' directed by Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu in 2006. We'll see how the measures adopted in this film evoke the theme of exile. Initially, we will study the director and the film, analyze the direction (the visuals and soundtrack), and finally, we shall consider the lack of communication, the misunderstandings between the characters and the barriers that alienate and marginalize them.

It is first necessary to clarify that Mexican cinema is in exile, certainly distanced from mainstream cinema, because despite globalization, it is not very common and seen. This may be due to a lack of attention and openness between countries and / or the lack of international promotion.

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, born April 15, 1963, in Mexico City, began his artistic career as an animator on a Mexican radio. Subsequently, he began working in films, became a director, producer (he created a production company: Zeta Films), and screenwriter. Also, he considered himself as a "director in exile" on the one hand, because he left Mexico after Amores Perros in 2003 and now lives in Los Angeles, and secondly, because that he travels a lot (he felt like a kind of immigrant). The Mexican director's recent venture was Babel, the last of a trilogy consisting of 21 grams and Amores Perros. These three films - which has the screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga - are built the same way (including the concept of intertwined fates), and addresses the issue of suffering.

Indeed, Babel evokes the dramatic fate of people around the world, fates that will gradually intermingle, overlap, following a shot that will change everyone's life. The plot takes place in four countries: the United States, Morocco, Mexico, and Japan, as well as an in-between: the US-Mexico border, along which some sequences were shot. Note that some of these film locations have played a role in the life of the director, since he had already traveled to Morocco, Japan, and had moreover, as we have said before, left his home in Mexico to come and live in the United States. So can we say that the film crew lived in exile during this period, and was confronted, as the characters in the film, with communication difficulties, the language barrier.

However, this obstacle is not insurmountable because Inarritu considers that "there is no perfect tool to overcome the language than images and music," and that "the cinema is a language that allows artists to break down barriers." In other words, the fact that the film flows from one country to another shows that people across the world live the same experiences, and thus bring people together in a certain way.

The film is universally understood in a way. Also, be aware that each actor plays a character from the same origin as his own, and that is the first time Inarritu leading non-professional actors who play their own role (as is the case for Moroccan family for example) - which grants an additional degree of reality to the film.

Tags: Babel, language barrier, culture shocks, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

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