Toronto: Jonas Cuaron Tackles Mexican Border-Crossing in ‘Desierto’

Jonas Cuaron debuted his gripping action thriller “Desierto” at the Toronto Film Festival, about a group of Mexicans crossing the border into the U.S. In remarks to the audience at the Visa Elgin theater, Cuaron said the issue happens to be timely, “but it’s also universal,” adding that he started the script six years ago.

Gael Garcia Bernal stars as one member of the group, who are being pursued across the U.S. desert by a murderous vigilante (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who wants to protect “my home!” The film, which was written by Cuaron and Mateo Garcia, drew big applause from the Sunday night audience, who also gave loud approval to the filmmaker and star.

At the post-screening Q&A, Garcia Bernal said immigration is “part of life. We all come from immigrants.” He said the film is “paying homage to all the people who make this journey.” It’s clear that the characters are seeking a better life, though there is no speechifying, no soapboxing about the topic in the film, which is in English and Spanish.

Cuaron said, “We view it as a problem, but it’s not a problem, it’s a phenomenon.” He added, “There’s no such thing as an ‘illegal’ human being.”

Bernal said, “Unfortunately, it is timely because there is a discourse of hate,” which he said is divisive and was begun for political reasons.

In the film, the vigilante is accompanied by a vicious German shepherd, and Garcia Bernal got a laugh from the audience when he said there were actually three dogs used in filming and they were all “so nice and easygoing.” Cuaron nodded and joked, “It was much easier to work with the dogs than the actors.”

The film, which is Cuaron’s second feature as director, also plays at the London Film Festival in October.

More Film

  • 'Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms'

    Film Review: 'Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms'

    Jonas Cuaron debuted his gripping action thriller “Desierto” at the Toronto Film Festival, about a group of Mexicans crossing the border into the U.S. In remarks to the audience at the Visa Elgin theater, Cuaron said the issue happens to be timely, “but it’s also universal,” adding that he started the script six years ago. Gael Garcia […]

  • Mammia Mia Here We Go Again

    Box Office: 'Mamma Mia' Sequel Heads Toward Big $41 Million Opening

    Jonas Cuaron debuted his gripping action thriller “Desierto” at the Toronto Film Festival, about a group of Mexicans crossing the border into the U.S. In remarks to the audience at the Visa Elgin theater, Cuaron said the issue happens to be timely, “but it’s also universal,” adding that he started the script six years ago. Gael Garcia […]

  • Guardians of the Galaxy James Gun

    James Gunn Fired From 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3'

    Jonas Cuaron debuted his gripping action thriller “Desierto” at the Toronto Film Festival, about a group of Mexicans crossing the border into the U.S. In remarks to the audience at the Visa Elgin theater, Cuaron said the issue happens to be timely, “but it’s also universal,” adding that he started the script six years ago. Gael Garcia […]

  • Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke

    Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke to Star in Music Drama 'Sound of Metal'

    Jonas Cuaron debuted his gripping action thriller “Desierto” at the Toronto Film Festival, about a group of Mexicans crossing the border into the U.S. In remarks to the audience at the Visa Elgin theater, Cuaron said the issue happens to be timely, “but it’s also universal,” adding that he started the script six years ago. Gael Garcia […]

  • CGITW-7-20-17-116.RAF

    Bo Burnham Wishes 'Eighth Grade' Wasn't Rated R

    Jonas Cuaron debuted his gripping action thriller “Desierto” at the Toronto Film Festival, about a group of Mexicans crossing the border into the U.S. In remarks to the audience at the Visa Elgin theater, Cuaron said the issue happens to be timely, “but it’s also universal,” adding that he started the script six years ago. Gael Garcia […]

  • (L to R) Young Tanya (JESSICA

    Box Office: 'Mamma Mia' Shoots Past 'Equalizer 2' in Thursday Night Shows

    Jonas Cuaron debuted his gripping action thriller “Desierto” at the Toronto Film Festival, about a group of Mexicans crossing the border into the U.S. In remarks to the audience at the Visa Elgin theater, Cuaron said the issue happens to be timely, “but it’s also universal,” adding that he started the script six years ago. Gael Garcia […]

  • Disney Cycles VR Short Film

    Disney Animation's First VR Film, 'Cycles,' Set to Premiere

    Jonas Cuaron debuted his gripping action thriller “Desierto” at the Toronto Film Festival, about a group of Mexicans crossing the border into the U.S. In remarks to the audience at the Visa Elgin theater, Cuaron said the issue happens to be timely, “but it’s also universal,” adding that he started the script six years ago. Gael Garcia […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content