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The director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and the writer, Guillermo Arriaga Jordan, of Amores Perros (Loveís a Bitch) passionately explain their motives and feelings about making the multi-award winning film, which is an enigmatic, haunting, visceral study of the oft-suffering human condition.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
"Mexico City is an anthropological experiment, and I feel Iím part of it. Iím just one of the twenty one million people that live in the worldís largest and most populated city. In the past, no person had ever lived, (survived more likely), in a city with such rates of pollution, violence and corruption. However incredible and paradoxical it may seem, it is a beautiful and fascinating city and that is precisely what Amores Perros is to me: a product of this contradiction, a small reflection of the baroque and complex mosaic that is Mexico City.

For me, the process of Amores Perros has been a long journey. From the time I read Guillermo Arriagaís first draft (we worked on 36 drafts over three years) it moved, shook and disturbed me.

"something profoundly human"

I could not only see and feel the characters, but I could smell them and feel something profoundly human for them. It was like they stepped out of the paper and stood before me, suffering, with perfectly organic dialogues.

If Iím certain of anything itís that I didnít make the film with my intellect, but by sheer instinct and intuition. I know I didnít put my heart into it, rather my entrails and a piece of my liver. I think everybody gave a piece of their lives to the project, there was always a very strange mystique around the set Ė a silence which sowed mixed feelings and reaped deafening emotions. It was never inspiration, just perspiration; there was no mercy, compassion or compromise, things are what they are, not what we want them to be.

"silent and proactive witness"

Every department Ė art, wardrobe, music Ė yielded to the story and to Rodrigo Prietoís incredible camera work, which I wanted to be a silent and proactive witness of real facts taking place before our eyes. It was something close to documenting a piece of reality, and maybe this is why the film is disturbing and exciting, because the worst we can see in it is ourselves. Sometimes refusing to accept our nature or going against it is also a part of this very nature.

In Amores Perros characters forget their divinity and dive deep into their animal nature in order to redeem and survive themselves, their decisions and consequences through pain, but always with great beauty, courage, dignity and hope. This is why these characters are likeable and endearing: they may be unfaithful but never disloyal.

"extremes of a roller coaster ride"

I had been reading dozens of script. But the profound and complex structure of Amores Perros, along with the fortunate and vital empathy that bonded me with Guillermo Arriaga, led me to know I had finally found the right story. It would allow me to exorcise my terrible fear of the ordinary human experience of day-to-day existence, which has perhaps been hidden behind the frivolous esthetic of TV commercials.

I wanted to touch and be touched, to feel alive and make the characters and viewers alike. I wanted to strike, caress, entertain, move and provoke. I wanted to take the viewer up and down the extremes of a roller coaster ride, no breaks.

I wanted to completely strip the characters naked before the camera without them feeling embarrassed, to find the perfect catharsis or the uncomfortable shame of the viewer watching him or herself. With this regard, I think the actors and actressesí heartfelt, incredible work in the film accomplished a lot more than I had imagined."

Guillermo Arriaga Jordan
"Why did I write Amores Perros? I think every script implies a position towards the world; in some ways itís a declaration of principles. In Amores Perros I wanted to write a script that didnít trivialise violence and death, that made the reader feel the tremendous weight of a murder, the frightful consequences of a car accident, the reasons behind betrayal, the tragic momentum of illicit love. A script that could convey the pain, confusion, sadness, joy, ruin and hope of life itself. A script that was as fiercely human as possible.

"disgusting tyranny of political correctness"

I wanted to write a script that was free from the disgusting tyranny of political correctness (which is a gross softening of human experience through an outdated and cowardly morality). A script in which the characters could descend into their own hell and, after bouncing fiercely between whatís right and whatís wrong, find the path towards a reconciliation with themselves. I wanted the characters to be contradictory, paradoxical, willing to live intensely and to pay the price for it: death, mutilation, jail, indifference.

I donít know whether I managed to write the script I wanted, but it resulted in a movie of which I am very proud. Under the intense and committed direction of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the dedication and support of Altavista Films, and with the participation and complicity of many men and women I highly respect, Amores Perros is a film that exudes instinct, passion and a lot of humility."

Published April 5, 2001

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