READ: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s LACMA Speech ‘Undocumented Dreamers’

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Undocumented Dreamers
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Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was honored Saturday at LACMA’s Art + Film Gala. In his speech, he talked about immigration reform and Republican candidate Donald Trump’s comments about Mexicans. This is the transcript of Inarritu’s speech:

I cannot express how humbled, honored, and thankful I am to receive this recognition tonight from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, along with the master, the poet of light, Mr. James Turrell. We, as filmmakers, use light to reveal our stories. But for Mr. Turrell, light is the revelation itself, and that is sublime.

For the last 14 years, I have been living in Los Angeles (along with more than 2 million Mexicans), and I have witnessed how the LACMA museum, since Michael Govan and his team arrived, has changed the cultural dynamics of this city by making art accessible, fun, and exciting to a diverse society that, before LACMA existed the way it exists today, lacked a point of reunion where every race, age or social class could have and share a space and center.

I was born and raised in what I consider to be the Rome of North America, where a millenary civilization is buried under the largest city in the world, in one of the most complex and exciting anthropological experiments ever created: Mexico City.

As a Mexican, I consider the honor I am receiving tonight a recognition to the whole Mexican community for their eminent hard work and vibrant cultural contributions made for years and years to the city of Los Angeles and the United States. I have been extremely fortunate to shoot films around the world; sharing human experiences with different kinds of people, regardless of where we are from.

We are the only creatures on planet earth that want to see ourselves in the mirror. Because we know we are the same, but we are different, we need to share. We need to see ourselves projected in other members of our species to, in turn, understand ourselves. Cinema, is that mirror. It is a bridge between the others and us.

Unfortunately, there are currently people proposing we build walls, instead of bridges. I must confess that I debated with myself, if I should bring up this uncomfortable subject tonight. But in light of the constant and relentless xenophobic comments that have been expressed recently against my Mexican fellows, it is inevitable.

These comments would be unacceptable if they were targeted against another minority, nevertheless, these millions of people do not have a voice or any rights – even though they have lived here all of their lives.

These sentiments have been widely spread by the media without shame, embraced and cheered by leaders and communities around the U.S. The foundation of all this is so outrageous that it can easily be minimized as an SNL sketch, a mere entertainment, a joke.

But the words that have been expressed are not a joke. Words have real power; and similar words in the past have both created and triggered enormous suffering for millions of humans beings, especially throughout the last century.

If we continue to allow these words to water seeds of hate, and spread inferior thoughts and unwholesome emotions around the world to every human being, not only will millions of Mexicans and Latin American immigrants be in danger, but immigrants around the world now suffering, will share the same dangerous fate.

There is no human being who, as a result of desiring to build a better life, should be named or declared illegal, and be dispossessed or considered disposable.

I would rather propose to call these people Undocumented Dreamers, as were most of the people who founded this country. By naming them that, we can instead start a real and human conversation for a solution, with the most precious, forgotten, and distinguished emotion a human being can have: Compassion.

As a filmmaker, as a Mexican, but most importantly, as a human being, I feel extremely thankful that LACMA is an inclusive community that reaches out and invites people in to celebrate cinema as an art form.

And when I say art, I mean it as what art truly is. A human expression, a singular point of view, as valuable as any other one, of an ordinary human being.

It is a privilege to share this with my family, and my best friends and colleagues.

Thank you very much for this honor.

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  1. John says:

    There is a truth to the fact that each “head” is a different world. It is also a fact that no human being can afford to expect any sort of respect but only by self-reliance. Freedom as well as respect can only be gain by force.

  2. Jeff Valdez says:

    Dear Observer
    I understand your fear and pray for you to no longer live in that fear. The irony of your comments is that many of the people that install the locks, repair the gates and are responsible for the safety and well being of our most treasured assets; our children, are undocumented. If you asked many who have had life contact with the hard working undocumented dreamers that come here, they would describe them as warm, loving, kind and compassionate, not criminals and rapists. Are there undocumented people that come here, that are bad? Sure, but it is a very small amount and I promise the the others that are good hard working people that are the labor backbone of this country also wish for the bad seeds to go away.

    I am 13th generation American, my ancestors came here from Spain, Im guessing they didnt ask any of the native Americans permission to come here, does that make me “illegal” also? My friend, solutions are found through meanigful and open dialogue not media sound bites and blistering comments. Alejandro, thank you for using the occasion to encourage people to open their minds and hearts to engage in such a conversation!!
    In light
    Jeff

  3. ObserverMI says:

    Alejandro, do you have locks on the doors to your house? You have a fence or a gate? You just let anyone in your home to eat your food, use the things you pay for?
    Well, why not? That’s what you are basically saying that ‘a country with rules of law’ should do so, why not you, huh?
    I bet you’d call the police if there was an ‘illegal intruder’ to ‘your’ home wouldn’t you?

    And you keep repeating a lie about, “in light of the constant and relentless xenophobic comments that have been expressed recently”…. really? Like what?? Shows you have ‘no clue’ what’s being said yet, you don’t care what these ‘illegals’ are saying to Trump and others??

    Practice what you Preach. Open your home, your wallet, the safety of your family to illegals you don’t know and see how that works out for you you idiot.

    Grow Up and Practice what you Preach.
    You and those that don’t have the will or intelligence enough to think this through and see the devastation and lawlessness that has been done to this state let alone this country. Open your eyes and ‘think’ instead of ‘blindly feel’ what you obviously have ‘no clue’ about.
    Idiot.

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