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Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s first feature since The Revenant received a generally warm response at its world premiere Thursday night in Venice.
The Venice audience responded with warm applause and some cheering at the end of the nearly three-hour-long film, rising to give Iñárritu and the cast of Bardo a standing ovation lasting around three minutes.
The film’s long running time and the late hour (the Venice screening didn’t finish until after midnight) meant many of the audience headed for the exits as soon as the house lights came on.
The epic comedy, which also marks Iñárritu’s first Mexican feature since his 2000 breakout Amores Perros, is due for a theatrical release Nov. 18, before hitting Netflix on Dec. 16.
A deeply personal film that had already been likened to Alfonso Curson’s Roma, Bardo charts the homecoming of a famed journalist and documentary maker, and an existential crisis sparked by family relationships, questions of cultural identity and changes to the country of his birth.
Earlier in the day at the film’s press conference, Iñárritu noted that the date of Bardo’s premiere, Sept. 1, was also the 21st anniversary of the day he left Mexico with his family to move to Los Angeles. “We had great plans and great projects,” he said. “We thought we were staying there for one year, instead we stayed for 21 years. When a person leaves his or her country, he feels a longing for his country that stays with you every day. Mexico, for me, is a state of mind, not just a country.”
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