Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths
In the new film from the director of The Revenant, Birdman and Amores Perros, Amazon is on the verge of purchasing Baja California from Mexico, a subway car floods as a man tries to retrieve a lost fish, and a new-born baby is so dismayed by the state of the world it climbs back inside its mother’s womb — and that’s just the first seven minutes.
Silverio (Daniel Giménez Cacho) is an esteemed Mexican documentary filmmaker going through an existential mid-life crisis occasioned by his latest award. Returning to his homeland for a few days, he is visited by a series of vivid dreams, by old friends, ghosts, and his own uneasy conscience…
It’s been a long time since a filmmaker was emboldened (and backed) to make such an unapologetically personal art film; this is a portrait of the artist trying to reconcile his success with his politics, his Mexican heritage with his choice to live in the US, his ego with his sense of shame. Some critics have already labelled this “self-indulgent” (and Iñárritu has cut 20 minutes from the version that showed at the Venice Film Festival in September) but let’s be clear, this work is in the grand tradition of Fellini, Jodorowski, Malick and Solanas… Giants of cinema. Iñárritu – along with his DP Darius Khondji – crafts a series of astonishing, revelatory wide angle images and tracking shots, incorporating CGI in a bravura, surrealistic way which is sometimes breathtaking. This is a soul-searching film, made at a time when we are primed for little more than mindless distraction.
It’s impossible to deny the strength of the startling array of thoughts and concepts which Inarritu has brought to life and, ultimately, brings together.
Fionnula Halligan, Screen International
Brims with beauty… scene after scene is calculated to colonize the senses.
Anthony Lane, New Yorker
Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Daniel Giménez Cacho, Griselda Siciliani
In Spanish and English with English subtitles
Karla Luna Cantu, Mary Parent
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Stacy Perskie
Nicolás Giacobone, Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Bryce Dessner, Alejandro G. Iñárritu