Alejandro González Iñárritu – Bardo – Review by Efe Teksoy


Cinema Writer/Film Critic Efe TEKSOY; wrote the drama and comedy film “BARDO: FALSE CHRONICLE OF A HANDFUL OF TRUTHS” for America’s Los Angeles based Internet Newspaper @alaturkanews.


Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu, one of the pioneers of the New Mexican Cinema movement, his film Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, which premiered at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, was released on the Netflix platform. It reflects the theme of the Magical Realism Art Movement, which has its roots in Latin America, and its leading name, Gabriel García Márquez, winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. Following in the footsteps of Federico Fellini‘s 8 ½ film, Bardo brings the inner journey of a neurotic man and his confrontation with himself to the screen with a surrealist narrative. Bardo as a word is a state of intermediate, transition or threshold between death and rebirth in Buddhism. We encounter the revised theatrical version of the Mexican-American War in the historical background of the production, which is embellished with classic long shot sequences by Iñárritu. The concept of “Deterritorialization” by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, the leading philosophers of postmodern philosophy, comes to the fore in this tumult of images that the director takes us, and within the framework of this phenomenon, the immigration struggle and the refugee problem are mentioned. Described as the “Father” of Surrealism, the French writer, poet and art theorist Andre Breton, in his semi-autobiographical novel Nadja, the founding text of surrealism, shows that the surrealism movement is a political attitude and an existential issue, and reveals that it has become a vital issue rather than an aesthetic concern. In the book, the character who tells himself that the name he chose is Nadja; “It’s the beginning of the word ‘hope’ in Russian, because I’m at the beginning of everything.” Nadja explains to the author the meaning of her name, and this underlined feeling is of great importance in the story. Just as we see the importance of the same emotion through the character who oscillates between reality and dream in the dramatic film Bardo. Master director Iñárritu, who tried an unusual (without story, structure and plot) narrative in the production; It modeled the albums and clips of British psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd, legendary popular music icon David Bowie, and British progressive rock band Genesis as inspiration. Trying to create a dreamlike perception by embodying images, emotions and memories, the filmmaker reflected the mental view of a character from the last moments of his life to the silver screen.


Plot of the movie Famous Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker Silverio in Los Angeles is forced to return to his hometown after winning a prestigious international award. Silverio, who has no idea that this simple journey will push the limits of his existence, will come to terms with his identity and experience an extraordinary experience accompanied by an inner journey like a fairy tale.

Stars; Daniel Giménez Cacho, Griselda Siciliani, Ximena Lamadrid, Íker Sánchez Solano, Luis Couturier, Luz Jiménez, Andrés Almeida, Clementina Guadarrama, Jay O. Sanders, Francisco Rubio, Noé Hernández and Fabiola Guajardo.


In this production, which is the most personal and possibly the most ambitious film in Iñárritu’s cinematic universe to date, the audience is accompanied by a rare postmodern visual atmosphere that they have not experienced before. In this visionary perspective, an extraordinary hallucinogenic variant of the dimensions of perception is conveyed to the viewer. British author and philosopher Aldous Huxley examines the dimensions of human perception and visual perception in his cult book The Doors of Perception, where he sets out to explore the far reaches of the mind and the uncharted areas of human consciousness. In his book, he deals with the insights he has experienced from “aesthetics” to “sacred vision” with philosophical and psychological consequences. In addition, American rock star Jim Morrison chose the name of the legendary music group The Doors, inspired by this book. Aldous Huxley; “If we want to stay mentally healthy, we cannot do ‘the less system the better’ without directly perceiving our inner world and the outer world we were born into.” By saying that, he explains that reality is an infinity that can be grasped in a direct way within the whole. Silverio character, who is in the middle between reality and imagination, is trying to find his way in eternity. Also, through the Silverio character, who sees his own image in front of him, we see that the subtext of the film extends to the concept of the “Mirror Phase” in the psychoanalysis theory of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan.


English philosopher John Locke, the founder of The Enlightenment and The Age of Reason in Europe and considered the pioneer of classical liberalism thought, his book An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, which has been a masterpiece of western philosophy for centuries, is an important philosophical work on the basis of human knowledge and understanding. The human mind is likened to “Tabula Rasa” which means “Blank Slate” in Latvian. Here, Locke defines the mind as a blank slate at birth and states that (for example) the child’s memory is gradually equipped with ideas. According to Locke, the “Blank Slate” is equipped with the knowledge gained from the ground prepared by experiences, and this is how the building block of the human mind is formed. The important thinker, historian and essayist of The Scottish Enlightenment, Scottish philosopher David Hume, with his philosophy based on John Locke‘s Empiricism and George Berkeley‘s Idealism, deeply influenced the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant as well as the philosophers who came after him. David Hume argues that the word idea was generally understood by Locke in a very broad sense. Hume uses this concept in his work An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding; “It expresses each of our perceptions, sensations, and passions as well as our thoughts.” He states that all thought materials are derived from internal and external emotions. In the movie Bardo, we see that, through the Silverio character, who is in the middle between death and life, we see that his mind is equipped with ideas gradually with the effect of emotions.


Historical personalities are also frequently featured in the movie; The navigator Hernán Cortés, who invaded Mexico on behalf of Spain, and the Mexican writer, poet and diplomat Octavio Paz, winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature, are also mentioned. Director for the movie Bardo; “This movie requires so much more than the others because I was trying to explain the things I couldn’t solve, the things I had to overcome, my experiences, my dreams.” says and opens the doors of an extraordinary world to us. For the first time since the veteran director’s feature debut Amores Perros (2000), he edited the film himself, and the film was shot on 65mm film, a rare occasion for digital platforms in general. Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, Mexico’s official application for the ‘Best International Feature Film’ category of the 95th Academy Awards Oscar in 2023, is an extraordinary production that will be appreciated by comedy and drama lovers.



Andre Breton, Nadja, translate. İsmet Birkan, İstanbul: Jaguar Kitap press, 2019

David Hume, İnsanın Anlama Yetisi Üzerine Bir Soruşturma (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding), translate. Ferit Burak Aydar, İstanbul: İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları press, 2022

John Locke, İnsan Anlığı Üzerine Bir Deneme (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding), translate. Vehbi Hacıkadiroğlu, İstanbul: Kabalcı Yayıncılık press, 2013

Aldous Huxley, Algı Kapıları: cennet ve cehennem (The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell), translate. Mehmet Fehmi İmre, Ankara: İmge Kitabevi press, 2014


AdvertisementThe new Emirates Premium Economy has arrived on the latest Emirates A380 Emirates Get the best value from your summer holiday with exclusive offers and discounts across Dubai and the UAE with Emirates Pass