Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Year Released: 2022
Documentary filmmaker Silverio Gama (Daniel Giménez Cacho) is going around showing his latest movie (called False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths) and is set to be the first Latin American to receive an award for journalistic excellence, but is struggling to emotionally deal with various problems in his life, including the death of both his son Mateo (who lived thirty hours) and his father ... and there's also the issue in the background of Amazon.com trying to purchase Baja California (sneaky move, Mr. Bezos). This is Iñárritu's attempt to craft his own 8½ only without the warm presence of Marcello Mastroianni and a pretty flimsy structure that brings up very relevant subjects (mostly involving U.S.-Mexican relations and hostile attitudes towards immigrants) but doesn't really have much to say about them. Anticipating backlash for this project, he and co-screenwriter Nicolás Giacobone write in a scene where journalist Luis (Francisco Rubio) criticizes Gama (for being self-indulgent and oneiric, among other things), but letting the audience know you're aware of your flaws doesn't actually fix anything. That said, the visuals are impressive: the opening shot, of Gama's shadow leaping over a distorted landscape, is trippy (like taking psychedelics while screwing with Google Earth) and the sequence where he crawls on top of fallen bodies to have a conversation with conquistador Hernán Cortés is masterfully done. As for dealing with Customs Agents: even though I was born and raised here, I've had my issues with them ... so it's not just you, Alejandro.