Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths (2022)
The word “oneiric” (from the Greek Ὄνειρος) means of or related to dreams or dreaming, and a scant few minutes of Googling will reveal that it’s deployed somewhere in the PR materials for Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s (Birdman, The Revenant) new sprawling, painterly, semi-autobiographical fantasia, because every film critic in the world has decided to roll it out for their description.
Which isn’t to say they’re wrong. Bardo is quixotic and expressly dreamlike chronicle of uncertainties wherein the main character, a renowned Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker, returns to his native country to face his identity, familial relationships, and the folly of his memories, as well as the past and new reality of his country. Equal parts indebted to his colleague Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and Federico Fellini’s 8 ½ (and Tree of Life, and let’s also say Being John Malkovich), Iñárritu’s Bardo is unconventional, epic, ambitious, involuted to the point of self-obsession, but simultaneously an unforgettable cinematic and technical showpiece that has to be seen (on a big screen, natch) to be believed.
In Spanish and English with English subtitles