"Desierto," written and directed by Jonas Cuaron and out in
U.S. theaters on Friday, follows the high-stakes journey that a
group of Mexicans embark on to cross the border into the United
Some are hoping to start a new life while others, such as Gael
Garcia Bernal's Moises, are hoping to reunite with family.
As they traverse the stark and unbearably hot desert wasteland
dividing the two countries, a ruthless American vigilante,
played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, whittles down the group with the
help of a long-range rifle and a ferocious dog.
"I wanted to tell a story that I felt very close to myself,
which is the story both about migration, but also a parable of
where we're going to arrive as a society if we keep promoting so
much hatred towards migrants, towards foreigners," Cuaron told
"Desierto" is Mexico's official Oscar entry this year. Cuaron,
the son of Oscar-winning "Gravity" filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron,
said it was "wonderful that this film could be part of the
discussion in the United States at that level."
Debuting less than a month before the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential
election, "Desierto" has tapped into the heated debate and
opposing stances on immigration between the two presidential
candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald
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Clinton has promised to propose broad legislation to overhaul the
immigration system and establish a process for undocumented workers
to become citizens.
In contrast, Trump launched his presidential campaign with a vow to
build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and has said he would insist
that the United States' southern neighbor pay for it. He would also
require people seeking legal status to leave and reapply.
Morgan, whose vigilante character in the film is motivated to kill
by his unabashed hatred towards immigrants, said "everything that
Trump said in his speech about immigration was dead wrong."
Garcia Bernal added: "It is very unfortunate that this high level of
hate discourse has been going on."
"Migration is as natural and as real as we're both speaking right
now, you know, we have to regulate it in a very comprehensive,
benign and a very nurturing way," he said.
(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bill
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