Alejandro González Iñárritu is one of the most acclaimed voices in international cinema currently, with a lot of excitement surrounding any new project he comes out with. His previous two releases have been Oscar juggernauts, earning him two back-to-back Academy Awards for Best Director in two consecutive years, making him the only director to achieve such a feat in the last 70 years. His proper Hollywood debut, Birdman (2014), was a critical darling that received unanimous praise for its lead performances, kinetic directing, camera work, and psychological depth. After that, he came out with the sublime survival drama – The Revenant (2015), the film that finally earned Leonardo DiCaprio his Oscar for Best Actor, and went on to become one of the biggest box office successes for an original movie in the past decade.
But even before all the Oscar glory, Alejandro Iñárritu had already established himself as a master of cinema with the highly acclaimed Death Trilogy. He made his feature debut with Amores Perros in 2000, the first film in the thematic trilogy, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Critic’s Week Grand Prize. The psychological drama is an intertwining story with three different plot lines related to a car accident, depicting various facets of Mexican society. Iñárittu explored similar themes in his follow-up film, 21 Grams, by telling a bunch of interconnected stories in a non-linear structure. Then he made the international co-production Babel, with big names like Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, this time exploring four different stories spread across Japan, the USA, Mexico, and Morocco. Babel earned Iñárittu his first Academy Award nomination and capped off his Death Trilogy in glorious fashion.
Now he is back to his roots and is coming out with an original film in Spanish, his first in over a decade, and his first Mexican production since Amores Perros in 2000. That film is Bardo (False Chronicle of a Handful Truths), and it had its premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival in competition for the Golden Lion. Details about the film have been far and few between, but we know that the film is supposed to be a very personal one for Iñárritu, and somewhat autobiographical. Starring Daniel Giménez Cacho as Silverio Gama, a documentary filmmaker who has been living in Los Angeles for the past twenty years, as a clear stand-in for Iñárritu, Bardo sees the beloved director self-reflect and search for his origins, and so, here we have put together a guide to everything we know so far about the film.
Does Bardo Have a Trailer?
Netflix unveiled the first trailer for Bardo on September 22, 2022, and from the looks of it, the film promises to be a wild and fun ride, mixing the tragic with the absurd. The film seems to explore the psyche of the main character with an expression of magical realism, filled with stunning shots and innovative camerawork, and wrapped with heart, as a love letter to Iñárritu’s homeland – Mexico.
Is Bardo Based on a True Story?
No, Bardo is not based on a true story, but you’d be forgiven if you thought it was. The film draws heavily from Iñárritu’s personal experiences as a Mexican filmmaker working in Hollywood, with Iñárritu looking inwards and crafting an intimate and immersive visual experience. The film has been described as an epic comedy, but will most likely carry a punch of emotional realism along with it.
What Is the Plot of Bardo?
Bardo has been described as a semi-autobiographical and deeply personal film for Alejandro Iñárritu. The film follows the journey of Silverio, a documentary filmmaker and Mexican journalist living in Los Angeles. After he is named the recipient of a prestigious international award, Silverio decides to take a trip back to his native land. This journey of homecoming and going back to revisit his own culture pushes him into an existential brim. Going by Iñárittu’s previous track record as a filmmaker, Bardo is sure to be another interesting psychological drama delving deep into the character’s psyche, while also poking at more significant questions from its outlook on society to the meaning of life. Being a very meta and personal project, Bardo is expected to pack an emotional punch and deliver a poignant intricate look at the heart of one of today’s best filmmakers.
The official synopsis of the plot reads:
Follows a renowned Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker who returns home and works through an existential crisis as he grapples with his identity, familial relationships, and the folly of his memories.
When Does Bardo Come Out?
Bardo is currently slated to be released on November 18, 2022, in limited theaters, and will eventually be streaming on Netflix on December 16, 2022.
The film has already premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, where it competed for the Golden Lion Award. Unfortunately, the film has opened to lukewarm and underwhelming reviews in Venice. But many reviewers and attendees have heaped praise on the film and have deeply connected with the film’s core emotional storytelling.
Who Is Making Bardo?
We have talked in length about Alejandro Iñárritu and how it feels like complete labor of love for him. The film is co-written, directed, and produced by him and inspired by a lot of his personal experiences. Iñárritu developed the script with his longtime writing partner, Nicolas Giacabone, who he previously worked with on films like Birdman and Biutiful. Bryce Dessner returns to compose music for the movie with Iñárritu after The Revenant, and acclaimed cinematographer Darius Khondji, known for his work in films like Se7en and Amour, will lend an eye to the lens. Honey Boy editor Monica Salazar is also a part of the crew, along with legendary Mexican production designer Eugenio Caballero, who is famous for his work on Pan’s Labyrinth and Roma.
Who Is Starring in Bardo?
Being Iñárittu’s first Mexican production in over two decades, Bardo is filled with an amazing cast of Mexican actors, both experienced and new faces. Daniel Giménez Cacho portrays the lead role of Silverio in the film, a man who sets out on a moving journey of self-discovery. Daniel Giménez Cacho is a veteran actor of Mexican cinema with tons of credits to his name, ranging from Cronos to Zama, which fetched him a ton of international awards. Griselda Siciliani, Ximena Lamadrid, Iker Sanchez Solano, Andrés Almeida, and Francisco Rubio also star in the film in prominent roles.