Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón caught the public’s attention this year with his hit movie, “Gravity”winning an Oscar for best director in March and becoming the first Mexican to receive such a major award.
However, some people questioned Cuarón’s “Mexicanness” after his Oscar nomination.
A few critics, journalists and fellow Mexicans made strong calls for Cuarón to label “Gravity” a Mexican movie. He refused to do so, emphatically saying that it is a universal film made by a Mexican director. Many people did not like that. They expected a chauvinistic confession, and failing that, they decided to label him.
That universal Cuarón just gave a lesson in nationalism, showing that he is as Mexican as others and shares their concerns. A few days ago, Cuarón published 10 questions for the president of Mexico, questioning the recently approved energy reform bill.
Oil and its derivatives have been a very sensitive issue in Mexico’s history, tied to political struggles and independence from foreign powers.
Cuarón had the courage to become involved in the debate, as a public figure and winner of the prestigious Oscar. With his actions, the filmmaker proved that professional and political realms can and should be differentiated. His open letter caused a whirlwind. The president himself, Enrique Peña Nieto, addressed it and responded to the questions.
Cuarón sought answers to many concerns that Mexicans both here and there have. The oil industry generates unlimited resources for the country. Regular citizens had been unable to engage the current administration in a dialogue. However, the director of “Gravity”as an artist and conveyor of emotionsjumped in and put the energy issue back on the political agenda.