The Mil­i­tary Camp

Empire (UK) - - EMPIRE 30 -

Cuarón wanted the film to be as much a por­trait of Mex­ico as his own fam­ily. a se­quence de­pict­ing a state-spon­sored mar­tialarts train­ing camp is a sin­is­ter note within the warm rem­i­nis­cence. “This is very well-doc­u­mented. The para­mil­i­tary group was trained by the army but also there was a US army con­sul­tant, a CIA con­sul­tant and the real-life Pro­fes­sor Zovek, who was an es­cape artist on a Sun­day va­ri­ety show.

“The ‘LEA’ on the moun­tain­side are the ini­tials of the pres­i­dent, Luis Echev­er­ría Ál­varez. You see male en­ergy at full steam here. It is a com­pletely mas­cu­line kind of num­ber.

“The [mar­tial arts] dis­ci­pline is called kendo. There are not that many peo­ple who do kendo, so they had to train for months and months to learn the chore­og­ra­phy. They would meet three or four times a week and it was com­pli­cated be­cause each time you have a re­hearsal you have to pay all of these peo­ple. It was ex­pen­sive.”

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