Director puts Mexico front and center in “The Forever Purge”

MEXICO CITY (AP) – MEXICO CITY – In “The Forever Purge”, the bloodbath lasts more than 12 hours and takes place on the border between Mexico and the United States. Mexican director Everardo Gout uses the strengths of fellow actors Ana de la Reguera and Tenoch Huerta in the film now in theaters.

The first film in the horror saga created by James DeMonaco was “The Purge”. States.

But when the time comes to fight the purge – an annual event where murder, rape and all manner of crimes are allowed – it extends beyond the established 12 hours. Adela takes up arms and fights alongside the men.

“Where are the strong women in the movies?” Gout said in Spanish in a recent video call interview from New York about her choice of Mexican actress for this character. “Where are the women like my mother who raised me with my brothers?” 40 years old, complex, complete, beautiful. I was very excited to be able to do it. “

The filmmaker, who makes his Hollywood directorial debut with the film, said he always had Huerta in mind. The Mexican actor starred in his first feature film, “Days of Grace” (“Días de gracia”) in 2011, and made his position very clear against the violation of immigrant rights and racism.

In “The Purge Forever”, Huerta plays a horse trainer with almost magical abilities to control animals but is nonetheless rejected by the prejudices of Dylan Tucker (Josh Lucas), the white son of the owner of the ranch where he works.

“I knew he was the best actor for this role, so I stuck to my decision with the study saying ‘I love Tenoch and I won’t see anyone else until you show me that.’ there’s a better actor out there, ”says Gout. “This tape never came because there was no one better.”

Unlike Adela, who is striving to learn English, Juan does not want to forget his origins.

“I think the authenticity Tenoch gives him is very important and on the contrary what I said to James (DeMonaco) was ‘let’s use his accent, let’s use his imperfection of English’,” said the director.

When the purge got out of hand, Mexicans and Americans sought refuge in Mexico.

“There are a lot of ironies and a lot of messages that I think are important,” Gout said. “The movie never falls out of its shell of being a horror movie and a thriller … (but) with that shell, the waves can be political, they can be racial, they can be anything because they are organic. for the characters. “

While “The Purge Saga” is fictional, with the very real levels of division, intolerance, and violence in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, could the fiction come true?

“Obviously we shot it before all the disaster that happened in America last year, but I think it’s the genius of James DeMonaco, who has the foresight to see five minutes into the future,” Gout said. “It’s a current film. If aliens were to come to Earth, I think it would be one of the 10 movies that represent who we are. “

And when it looks like the complicated relationship between Mexico and the United States has been introduced, the film is a reminder that long before the border issues, Native Americans were in the area. In a leading role, an indigenous ally (played by Gregory Zaragoza) who guides them through the desert points out that they have been fighting oppression and extermination for 500 years.

Behind the camera, there is also a Mexican presence. Gout called on his friend Luis Sansans to be the director of photography: “I needed my tutor.

For the director, the hardest part of the production was doing everything the doomsday script offered – and staying on budget.

“You have to resort to Spielberg from ‘Jaws’, where the shark was broken all the time and that’s why it’s so scary, because you don’t see the damn shark until the end,” he said. he declares. “Although it sounds very big, we didn’t have those conditions and it was the real challenge from start to finish.”

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