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“Laughter is the language of the soul”: Neruda comes alive onscreen

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Pablo Larrain’s new biopic might be set in the 1940s, but the award-winning director says his film – about Chilean poet Pablo Neruda – is just as relevant today.

Called simply “Neruda”, the film focuses on the start of Neruda’s time in exile because of his communist views.

Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal stars as a detective trying to catch Neruda, while Chilean actor Luis Gnecco takes on the title role.

Speaking in November last year, Chilean director Larrain said that he didn’t consider the current political climate while making this film, but he feels the ideas in it may look old but are “fresher than ever”.

“This happened in 1947 through to 1949 and it feels far and it feels different – but I don’t think so, I think it’s pretty much the same circumstances, you can call it socialism, you can call it communism, you can call it capitalism, but I think the lack of respect that we have today,”he said.

Larrain explained he’s not trying to change cinemagoers’ ideology, but that film is there to reflect society.

Those sentiments were echoed by Garcia Bernal who said that “now more than ever we need to to do independent cinema in order to generate conversation and debate”.

Asked about the role of Latin American cinema, Larrain said, “our cinema also has to expose what Latin America is going through.”

IANS

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