Viggo Mortensen and a strong opinion on public health

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He presents “Falling”, his directorial debut, at the San Sebastian Festival, where he will be awarded. And nothing is silent.

Viggo Mortensen, three times nominated for an Oscar, will receive the Donostia Award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival this Thursday, September 24, where he presents his “late” debut as a director. Falling, a family drama that addresses topics such as memory, difficulty in communicating and caring for the elderly.

“With the pandemic we have thought more about these things,” he said in an interview with EFE, in which he expressed his confidence that we have learned the lesson: “I don’t know if all politicians will agree, but it seems obvious that public health it cannot be run like a business. “

Mortensen, who has lived in Madrid for years, became a world star for the character of Aragorn from The Lord of the rings.

He was also Captain Alatriste, starred in David Cronenberg films such as Eastern promises and A history of violence, and the last time he was nominated for an Oscar was two years ago for Green Book.

His desire to lead comes from afar and Falling It is not the first script that he wrote, but it is the first that he manages to finance, in part thanks to the fact that in addition to directing he also stars – and produces it and is the author of the soundtrack – something that he had not initially planned.

“It can be considered a bit late that I start directing now, but I have wanted to do it for a long time,” said the American actor, who spent part of his childhood in Argentina.

“I have always been interested in the collective work of making films, all the parts of the machine: photo, costumes, script, music, acting … My mother instilled it in me since I was little, when I was three years old I went with her to the cinema and always he talked about the stories and how they were built. “

The film, which opens in theaters on October 2, revolves around the difficult relationship between a lonely, very conservative and inflexible farmer father and a homosexual son who tries to reconcile with him.

Mortensen dedicates the film to his brothers, Charles and Walter, out of “respect” for them, because it starts from real events and family memories. “My father was a man of his generation,” he describes, “raised during the Depression and World War II, in the countryside, one of six children in a peasant family in Denmark.”

“The men of that generation were patriarchs, who could be gentle in many ways but inflexible. My father has traits in common, such as intolerance, the ‘here I command’, the ‘I do not adapt to you, but you to me ‘and that sort of thing, but he’s not as brutal as the character,’ played by Lance Henriksen as an older man and Sverrir Gudnason as a young man.

Asked about the care of the elderly during the pandemic, he commented: “I am optimistic, I believe that in general there is more empathy, people are more aware, especially of uncertainty, which is the law of life and it has always been like that, but not we think about it, we want an order, plans for tomorrow; llife is uncertain and it seems to me good that we are more aware of that factBecause maybe this way we will treat others a little better and appreciate the time we have in this world. “

On a personal basis, he affirms that he also extracted positive things from the period of confinement. “The most important thing is that I resumed contact with many friends and family that I had not spoken to in a long time, and I felt lucky to have shelter, food and health after all.”

A versatile artist – he writes, takes photos, paints, composes – Mortensen took advantage of the confinement to “read a lot” and watch movies that he had pending.

“I also wrote a new script that I really like and now I’ve started another one that I think is the one I’m going to do as a second film, if I’m lucky,” he advanced, not wanting to reveal anything yet because it’s “bad luck.”

WD

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