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Gael García Bernal and Director Piero Messina on Drama ‘Another End’



Gael García Bernal and Renate Reinsve (“The Worst Person in the World”) star as lovers caught in an unusual bind in Italian director Piero Messina’s unconventional sci-fi film “Another End,” which is competing in Berlin. 

Set in a near-future when a new technology exists that can put the consciousness of a dead person back into a living body in an attempt to ease the grief of separation, the English-language film sees Bernal play Sal, a man who loses his wife. Reinsve plays Zoe, the woman who rents her body for the implantation of Bernal’s wife’s consciousness. Rounding out the cast is Bérénice Bejo as Sal’s sister Ebe. Newen Connect is handling international sales of the Indigo Films-RAI Cinema production.

What attracted Bernal to the role was “the philosophical journey that he goes on, because this film challenges an elemental question, which is: What happens after death? The body sometimes is like … the body is not the person. The person is the soul, the mind.

“But what’s being challenged in the movie,” Bernal adds, is “what happens if the body stops being so important? It’s an interesting philosophical question and that’s what drew me into the film.”

To get Bernal on board for his second feature, Messina — whose first feature, “The Wait” starring Juliette Binoche, launched with a splash from the 2015 Venice competition — sent the actor the screenplay after getting his email address from actor-director Valeria Golino.

A week later, Messina got a reply from Bernal saying that he loved the script, and they hopped on a long Zoom call. Shortly thereafter, Bernal flew to Rome and he and Messina struck up a friendship while spending a week working on prep.

Then, months later, when Bernal and Reinsve did their first reading of the script together in Rome, it became “very clear that the movie was there,” Messina recalls. “The chemistry was palpable. I could not even remember all the ideas I had put into this film, but seeing them trying out their roles together made me say to myself, ‘It’s going to work. All you have to do is follow their lead.’”

Of Reinsve, Bernal says: “She’s a great actress, very brave and very experienced in the best sense of the word. Very alive. It’s so nice to work with someone that is searching like that, and with such grace and intelligence and an excellent sort of sense of play as well.”

In terms of the type of sci-fi tone Messina chose for “Another End,” he and Bernal agree that it was important to keep digital devices and anything high-tech off-screen, since the film is set in either an alternate present or a near-future in which technology is embedded and nonvisible.

“It’s a strange sci-fi,” Bernal says, “If you even want to call it that. Maybe the film belongs to the subtle sci-fi genre, but it’s also many other things.”

Ultimately, “it’s a love story,” Messina says. “I wanted the audience to stay connected with the emotional, even sentimental, aspect of the film. So the sci-fi part needed to be muted.”


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