Without naming Donald Trump, Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu opposed the US President’s call for building a wall on the US-Mexico border.
Inarritu, who is heading the 2019 Cannes Film Festival jury, said ignorance among the masses makes it easier for governments to “manipulate” them.
“I’m not a politician. As an artist, I can express through my job and with my heart open what I think to be truthful. I think the problem is what is happening is the ignorance. People do not know, it’s very easy to manipulate,” the Oscar-winning director said when asked about Trump’s policies.
According to Variety, he was addressing a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Inarritu said he tried giving an insight into the condition of immigrants in his 2017 virtual reality (VR) film Carne Y Arena. The movie, that premiered at Cannes two years ago, was the first VR film to be screened at the prestigious movie gala.
Referencing the commencement date of World War II, Inarritu said, “We know how this story ends if we keep with this experience. We think we are evolving with the technology and the social media. It seems like every tweet is a brick of isolation and creating a lot of threat and paranoia.”
It is for the first time that a Mexican filmmaker is headlining the jury at the festival, which runs through May 25.
Inarritu also touched upon the ongoing debate between traditional theatres and streaming services, such as Netflix.
The Revenant director said cinema is supposed to be a “communal experience”, but added that streamers could never completely replace theatres.
Inarritu said, “I’m a true believer to watch is not to see a film. To watch is something. To see is another thing. To see is to not to experience. Cinema was born to be experienced in a communal experience.
“I have nothing against watching on a phone, on an iPad, on a computer. But I know watching a film there is not the same… Netflix is doing a great job. It’s great that they exist on TV. Why not give people the choice to experience cinema?”
Also present at the event were eight other members of 2019 Cannes jury, including directors Yorgos Lanthimos, Kelly Reichardt, Robin Campillo, Pawel Pawlikowski and actor Elle Fanning.