Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron has just wrapped up his latest movie, Roma -- a work that saw the auteur going back to his homeland to plot a 1970s story about a middle-class family.
Two years ago, Cuaron’s fascinating odyssey, Gravity, with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts who lose their way in space, opened the Venice Film Festival to a fairly good critical applause. The director told reporters on Wednesday that it were movies like Gravity that enabled him to undertake a project like Roma in his native country. “Films are like a cereal box -- at the bottom there is the promise of a toy... Gravity was that cereal box and I got that little toy, which usually leads to a bigger movie with more production, with more stars. But I decided to return to Mexico City to make this film with the resources I had always dreamed about... I can live abroad, but my head keeps thinking in Mexican. I am very much up on the happenings of my country, and I miss where I am from.”
Roma is Cuaron’s first work after his 2001 Y Tu Mama Tambien -- a sexually explicit movie about a couple of teenagers who are seduced by an older woman on a road journey. The movie catapulted the helmer into starry heights.
Roma will recreate the horrible 1971 Corpus Christi massacre in which dozens of young student protestors were brutally killed by a paramilitary group called Los Halcones. Cuaron added that this was a historic moment in Mexico, and the subject needed to be treated with reverence and authenticity.
And, the Mexico City authorities extended their full cooperation by shutting down several streets to facilitate the shoot.
Set to open in the next few months, Roma can well be a lesson to us in India -- where many of us are obsessed with hiding the truth and obliterating history. While many, many films have been made on the horrific Holocaust and while Roma will prove that Mexico is open to even a bitter chapter from its past being the subject of a movie, India still loves to pretend that nothing untoward has ever happened here. Can there ever be a film on the Babri Masjid incident? Can there ever be a work on the spectrum scam? Why, we cannot even allow someone like Sanjay Leela Bhansali to shoot a film on what may be pure fictional fantasy. He was molested some days ago, and now his sets have been razed to the ground. What more do we need?
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