TIFF: 'Desierto' Star Gael Garcia Bernal Calls Donald Trump's Border Wall "The Most Stupid Investment Ever"
Alfonso Cuaron says of the world's reaction to the photo of Aylan, the 3-year-old who drowned while escaping Syria, "It's as if for the first time, they realized those 'hoards' have arms and legs and little hands."
Gael Garcia Bernal is beyond perplexed by Donald Trump's proposed plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, if he were to become president.
"I thought he was a good investor, but talk about the most stupid investment ever!" he told THR before the world premiere of the immigration thriller Desierto at Toronto Film Festival. "It's a mute investment."
Alfonso Cuaron, who produced the film, added with a laugh, "Well, you could use illegal labor to do the wall. It probably would be built like that."
The film, from Jonas Cuaron, who co-wrote Gravity with his father Alfonso, stars Bernal as an illegal immigrant who tries to cross over from Mexican into the U.S., but run afoul of a man (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who has taken up border patrol duties in his own racist hands.
"The rhetoric defines migrants as this abstract entity that comes together with 'swarms' or 'hoards', and it's void of humanity," explained Alfonso of the current conversation surrounding immigration, and how it might be shifting — but at a tragic cost, as the world saw a photo of a 3-year-old named Aylan who drowned while trying to escape war-torn Syria.
"After months and years of having images of drowned refugees and hundreds of people in capsized boats, one single image of one little kid drowned on the beach just triggered something. It's as if for the first time, they realized those 'hoards' have arms and legs and little hands. Suddenly, they're human," Alfonso continued, hoping this film can move the conversation forward.
"I think it's so important that the issue of immigration has to be discussed, but from the standpoint of humanity, not the standpoint of 'the other.' It's very dangerous when part of the rhetoric is 'the other."
Watch THR's chat on Desierto above.