‘Babel’ director calls rage ‘virus’

Academy Award best director nominee  Alejandro González Iñárritu (Maria Eladia González ’13) told the Latino Heritage Assembly yesterday that rage is a deadly consequence of human ignorance.

“Not HIV or AIDS, but the virus of our time is rage, from racism, xenophobia, confusion and ignorance,” González Iñárritu said.

The Mexican-born director spoke about his films and the drive behind them.

“If you don’t have anyhing to say, don’t say nothing,” González Iñárritu said. “There’s a lot of information and junk out there, that confuse the pure and powerful soul.”

González Iñárritu said his three major length feature films were about communication and relationships with parents.

 His film “Babel,” nominated for five Academy Awards, is a collage of many stories, one of about a Japanese father and deaf and mute daughter, who connect with the touch of a hand.

He said his Japanese crew told him that some intended dialogue was wrong, because the Japanese communicate with actions.

“Words don’t mean much, it’s the emotions that are implied in the actions,” González Iñárritu said. “That really moved me.”

In pain, González Iñárritu said, his characters find a way to communicate. He described his role as a filmaker to create hope and understanding for each small story in his movies, at  “each molecule….There’s no way to put a crowd-pleaser ending.”

Asked if economic pressures from big corporations influenced his filmmaking, González Iñárritu said, “If you have a good idea, there’s always money.”

But he said the real problem is the need to make meaningful films.

“Too many films have nothing to say, they just want to crowd an audience,” González Iñárritu said.

“Your role is more than just to be entertained and eat popcorn. Never shut down your voice for any interest,” González Iñárritu said. “Keep the fire.”