Venice Film Festival: Director Arturo Ripstein to Be Honored

Arturo Ripstein - H 2015
AP Photo/Marco Ugarte

The 50-year film veteran will be honored at the screening of his latest film ‘Bleak Street.’

Venice Film Festival will honor the 50 year career of Mexican director Arturo Ripstein at the upcoming 72nd festival. He will receive a Biennale award at a ceremony taking place the night of the world premiere screening of his latest film Bleak Street (La calle de la amargura) on Sept. 10.

Bleak Street explores the underbelly of Mexico City in a bizarre tale inspired by the true-life accidental murders of two twin dwarf wrestlers by two former prostitutes.

Ripstein broke into the film business as an assistant director for Luis Bunuel. He was the second director after Bunuel to receive the Mexican government’s National Prize for Arts and Sciences. He is known for collaborating with acclaimed Latin-American writers, since his first film, Time to Die, written by Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Festival director Alberto Barbera said of the achievement: “Arturo Ripstein is the most vital, tenacious and original director of the generation that made its debut in the mid-Sixties, the heir of the golden age of Mexican studio films and the forerunner of the new generation of contemporary authors such as Carlos Reygadas, Guillermo del Toro and Nicolas Pereda, each of whom in their own way, recognizes the profound debt that they owe to his work.”

Ripstein has brought to life a restless and afflicted universe, populated with characters pathetically on the verge of the abyss into which they are destined to fall,” continued Barbera. “The strange blend of beauty and brutality, compassion and violence, irony and sadness, adds a wholly personal dimension to his cinema, which delves its roots into popular tragedy and the atmospheres of melodrama, which he cleverly re-elaborates.”

Venice Film Festival takes place Sept. 2-12.