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The Revenant Director on the Success of Mexican Filmmakers: 'We'll Build a Wall Made Entirely Out of Oscars'

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When Mexican director Guillermo del Toro took home the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars for the critically acclaimed film The Shape of Water, he spoke of what the people of his culture can bring to the table. Now, Del Toro’s good friend and fellow director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu — who won two Best Picture Oscars back-to-back (Birdman, 2015; The Revenant, 2016) — is adding his input.

“!Vamos a hacer un muro de puros Oscars!” (“We’re going to build a wall made entirely out of Oscars!”), exclaimed Iñárritu when a reporter from El Pais mentioned that a Mexican director has won the Academy Award for Best Picture four of the last five years (Alfonso Cuarón won for Gravity in 2014).

Guillermo del Toro (left) and Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu

This was a reference to President Donald Trump’s controversial statement during his run for president: “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.” Federal contractors began building prototypes of his proposed border wall last September.

Iñárritu wasn’t the only one of the “Three Amigos” — a Hollywood nickname for the trio of directors — to get political this awards season. Del Toro made a more subtle statement while accepting his Best Director statuette: “I am an immigrant like Alfonso and Alejandro my compadres… The greatest thing our industry does is to erase the lines in the sand when the world tells us to make them deeper.”