“The Lost City of Z”, One shows the abysses of European civilization, while the other reflects the colonizing eagerness of the white man, "said the American filmmaker. Gray, whose feature film was featured in the Berlinale Special section outside the competition, admitted that he would like to be able to say that both factors have been overcome in today's civilization, but that unfortunately is not so.
"The colonialism of the white man continues to exist," he said, in order to relate it to the "wave of nationalisms that invade the world" and the feeling that the so-called Western civilization "has not learned from the mistakes of the past.
His film is centered on the successive expeditions of the military and explorer Percy Fawcett, sent by London at the beginning of the last century to delimit the border between Brazil and Bolivia and from there impeller of the search of a theoretical lost metropolis, cradle of an unknown civilization.
The film portrays not only the hardships suffered and the struggle for the survival of that white man in the jungle, but also the human dilemma derived from the sacrifice he submits to his own.
"On the one hand, the goal of access to a better social status through expeditions that become obsession; On the other, evidence that he will give up, for years, to see how his children grow, "explained the director. "It was an adventurous shooting and the dangers we face, real. At any moment you could get a poisonous spider up your spine, "said Hunnan, an interpreter of the soldier, about his experience in the film, partially shot in the Santa Marta area of Colombia.
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Pattinson, the main attraction for the Berlinale's red carpet on this day, plays in the film the loyal Henry Costin, Fawcett's companion on two expeditions "It was definitely a great adventure, they had the feeling of really swear to you," said the British actor, although unlike his filmmaker, he was not able to remember any anecdote and was content to behave as it is in the Film, a supporting actor. "My character is that of a woman who defies the conventions of society and step out to the predetermining role that she is given," explained Miller, the explorer's wife and mother of her children, who will see again and again Her husband instead of accompanying him, as he wished, in the adventure.
The dilemma of the explorer between his family or the next trip will be accentuated when the objective of delimiting a border in the middle of the Amazon comes to the conviction that in the depth of that jungle there is a lost city, which he calls Z, which of course Wants to reveal to the world. The elitist Royal Geographic Society will first laugh at this conviction, to then become the promoter of one of their expeditions, as will be later the Rockefellers, from the United States, in exchange for the publication rights of the adventure.
Gray's film is based on a book by David Grann, which recaptures the characters and actual historical situations. The film director as Two Lovers and The Immigrant was expected in Berlin for more than the mere contribution of stardom of his film on the red carpet. His film was voiced in the pass for the media, while in the later press conference he was even qualified as the real great film of the festival, despite not being among the 18 aspirants to the official section Bear.
That James Gray is passionate about classicism is nothing new for those who have seen several of his films. In The Lost City of Z, this love for adventure films, explorers and mysterious cities is exploited on a large scale, in which it is his most expensive, ambitious and complicated film, the story of a British army officer who was sent to Amazon in the early twentieth century and came across something much more surprising than expected. And no, I do not mean Robert Pattinson.
The story is based on the real adventures of Percival Fawcett, who is sent by the Royal Geographic Society to be "referenced" in the border discussions between Brazil and Bolivia. The intense and passionate officer (incarnated by Charlie Hunnam) does not seem very interested in leaving and leaving his wife and children, but the trip would allow him to erase a stain of family honor, linked to his alcoholic father, who would be Preventing progress in its military rank. But the man embarks on the adventure in a boat where he is added Henry Costin (Pattinson, bearded) and others more in a task that takes them little by little to the depths of the Latin American continent, happening through Bolivia and soon penetrating of the little zone Brazilian approach to the Amazon until it reaches deep indigenous territory.