Alejandro González Iñárritu: A Role Model for the Hispanic Community


Feature Image Credit: Emmanuel Lubezki/Fox Searchlight Pictures (Source: The New York Times)
Headshot Image Credit and Source: IMD

For those who don’t know, Alejandro González Iñárritu is a director that won Academy Awards for his work on Birdman (2014) and The Reverent (2015). Both films staring A-list actors and nominated for best film of the year. I won’t be discussing about his cinematographic style but rather his accomplishment as a native Mexican director finding success in the United States, which is a very difficult barrier to overcome, and his philosophy. I consider these factors, along with his excellent directing style, to be reasons behind why I consider Iñárritu to be one of my role models.

Iñárritu has co-written and directed various other successful films before the two I perviously mention. He is responsible for films like, Amores Perros (2002), Babel (2006), and Biutiful (2010), which was a film previously nominated for an Oscar under the Foreign Film category. All of these film covering emotional or controversial topics that opens the viewers eyes to new concepts in film. I don’t want to spoil the plot of these films, but I highly recommend these films although I would advise not watching these films with children and to prepare emotionally for some dark moments.

Today, Iñárritu continues his pattern of emotional films with his 2014 work, Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. I have yet to see this film but I know it stars Michael Keaton as a washed up actor that formally portrait a superhero. Emma Stone, who I believe is his drug addicted daughter; Edward Norton and Naomi Watts. I suggest watching the trailer below to gain a better understanding of the film.

Video Credit: FoxSearchlight

At the Academy Awards, Iñárritu gave an amazing speech when this film won Best Picture. It was at this moment that Iñárritu successfully overcame the barrier that Mexican directors struggle to overcome. The moment his film beat other amazing  made films, including, American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel (my pick), The Imitation Game (phenomenal film), Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash. All are films, I’ve seen. At this moment in time, I was crossing my figures for The Grand Budapest Hotel without realizing that history was being made. Alejandro González Iñárritu was the first Mexican director and screenwriter to be in the long list of Academy Award winning directors.

A prominent reason why I consider him to be a role model, is dedication to the community of Mexican living in the United States. Below is a clip from the moment his film won Best Picture. There is a moment where Sean Penn makes a controversial comment that viewers deemed to be “racist,” but I see it as humorous because a film made entirely by a Mexican crew, just won the highest honor of the night.

Video Credit: The Oscars

At the end of this video, he states that he hopes for a better Mexican government, in respect to the lack of representation and the use of corruption. Iñárritu also gives word to the Mexican immigrants living in the United States in hope that this community will be treated with respect instead of the hostility brought on by politics. I strongly admire Iñárritu humble action of remembering this voice-less community. My parents migrated to the United States from Mexico and were immigrants for 20 years before finally receiving the proper documentation. Conservatives always suggest immigrants to “get in line” instead of migrating illegally to the United States, without realizing that the line moves extremely slow. My parents applied for documentation as soon as they reach the United States but had to wait 20 years for results. Immigrants are hardworking individuals that migrate to the States for a better opportunity and escape crime or poverty. It is important to remember that all our ancestors were immigrants once and no immigrant sacrifices their life to cause destruction abroad.


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