Babel (2006)

R | 142-43 mins | Drama | 27 October 2006

THIS TITLE IS OUTSIDE THE AFI CATALOG OF FEATURE FILMS (1893-1993)
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HISTORY

Aside from the title, production and distribution companies, all credits are at the end of the film. The closing credits state that the film was dedicated to director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s children “Maria Eladia and Eliseo…the brightest lights in the darkest night.” Acknowledgment is given to several companies for the use of Japanese television animation, commercial and program footage. Special thanks is given to dozens of individuals and associations who assisted at the various shooting locations, including His Majesty King Mohamed VI, Princess Lalla Hasna, Les Forces Armées Royales, residents of Taguenzalt, Japan Deaf Volleyball Association, Instituto Nacional de Migración and Presidencía Municipal, Jorge Hank Rhon.
       Babel is set in four diverse locations and illustrates each location's distinctive culture: San Diego, CA; a small village just south of Tijuana, Mexico; a farming community in Berber-speaking Morocco; and affluent Tokyo, Japan. González Iñárritu and writer Guillermo Arriaga chose to present the film’s scenes out of chronological order and to juxtapose the action among the various locales, thus enabling them to control the resolution of each group of characters at different locations at the end of the film.
       On the film’s official website, González Iñárritu stated that he was inspired to make the film during a 2003 visit to Japan during which he encountered deaf-mute citizens dealing with difficult communication issues. In addition, his immigrant status as a Mexican who had recently moved from Mexico City to the U.S. just before the 11 Sep 2001 terrorist attacks prompted him to create one story specifically revolving around U.S.-Mexico border issues and to create a web of international diplomatic circumstances among the various stories. Further, he explained that the film was ... More Less

Aside from the title, production and distribution companies, all credits are at the end of the film. The closing credits state that the film was dedicated to director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s children “Maria Eladia and Eliseo…the brightest lights in the darkest night.” Acknowledgment is given to several companies for the use of Japanese television animation, commercial and program footage. Special thanks is given to dozens of individuals and associations who assisted at the various shooting locations, including His Majesty King Mohamed VI, Princess Lalla Hasna, Les Forces Armées Royales, residents of Taguenzalt, Japan Deaf Volleyball Association, Instituto Nacional de Migración and Presidencía Municipal, Jorge Hank Rhon.
       Babel is set in four diverse locations and illustrates each location's distinctive culture: San Diego, CA; a small village just south of Tijuana, Mexico; a farming community in Berber-speaking Morocco; and affluent Tokyo, Japan. González Iñárritu and writer Guillermo Arriaga chose to present the film’s scenes out of chronological order and to juxtapose the action among the various locales, thus enabling them to control the resolution of each group of characters at different locations at the end of the film.
       On the film’s official website, González Iñárritu stated that he was inspired to make the film during a 2003 visit to Japan during which he encountered deaf-mute citizens dealing with difficult communication issues. In addition, his immigrant status as a Mexican who had recently moved from Mexico City to the U.S. just before the 11 Sep 2001 terrorist attacks prompted him to create one story specifically revolving around U.S.-Mexico border issues and to create a web of international diplomatic circumstances among the various stories. Further, he explained that the film was an expression of the tragedy of being unable to be touched by love or sentiment.
       Although HR production charts stated that the film was shooting from 2 May to late Sep 2005 solely in Morocco, a 27 May 2005 Screen International article stated that after shooting in Morocco from May to mid-Jun, the production planned to move to Mexico and was scheduled to shoot in Japan in mid-Nov. González Iñárritu and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto used several techniques to ensure the authenticity and distinctive quality of each location. According to a 10 Nov 2006 HR article, the filmmakers used several different types of film stock to make each location distinct, including three-perf Super 35mm, 35mm, 18.5 anamorphic and Super 16mm. According to an 8 Sep 2006 WSJ article, when the film began principal photography in Morocco, González Iñárritu had recently replaced most of his professional actors with non-professionals from the area including a shepherd, carpenter and two young boys for the four key roles. In Japan, González Iñárritu hired actress Rinko Kikuchi, who then taught herself sign language for the lead role; however, all of the other deaf-mute characters were deaf-mute girls with no professional acting experience.
       As related in the Bible, Genesis.11, in the city of Babel, humans attempted to build a tower to the heavens, thus angering God, who then created disunity among them by giving them different languages. To convey this sense of troubled communication, the filmmakers used many cultural conflicts between countries and used several languages in the film including Berber, English, Spanish, Japanese and sign language. Subtitles were used for all non-English dialogue in the English-language release. In addition, the Japanese deaf-mute characters used notepads to write their thoughts down for each of the characters who did not sign. Although these were not translated for the audience, characters' reactions to the notes usually alluded sufficiently to the content. Several Tokyo sequences are almost silent, giving the viewer a chance to understand the perspective of a deaf-mute character negotiating the world with limited sensory abilities.
       The film’s official website notes that costume designer Michael Wilkinson contributed to the authenticity of the Moroccan scenes by trading newly purchased clothes with villagers for their own clothes to use in the shooting. Composer Gustavo Santaolalla was drawn to an instrument called the ude, an ancestor to the lute and guitar, and sounding much like the Japanese instrument koto, to connect the Arab, Spanish and Japanese locations.
       As González Iñárritu stated in several interviews, Babel was the final film in a trilogy of films on which he collaborated with writer Arriaga, beginning with the 2000 film Amores Perros and the 2003 film 21 Grams . A 30 Oct 2006 Var article reported that producers Jon Kilik and Steve Golin placed an advertisement in NYT asserting that, although the collaborative team had decided to end their partnership, rumors attesting to arguments over creative authorship of the film were unfounded. According to a 3 Nov 2006 Entertainment Weekly article, the rumored disagreements centered on Arriaga's feeling that he should receive more credit for his involvement in developing the film.
       Babel was the first film released by Paramount Vantage, a newly formed subsidiary of The Paramount Motion Picture Group, a division of Viacom. When the picture was released, it received mixed reviews. Some critics felt that the multiple interwoven stories made popular by such films as the 2001 film Traffic (See Entry) and the 1999 picture Magnolia , merely created "narrative gimmickry," according to the Village Voice review. Other critics, such as Ray Bennett of HR , praised the filmmakers for "brilliantly weaving" the stories and creating compassion for characters from different cultures.
       Babel was selected by AFI as one of the Movies of the Year. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Score and was nominated for Best Motion Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Achievement in Film Editing. González Iñárritu was nominated for Best Director, and Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi were both nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Babel won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture--Drama and received nominations in the following categories: Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Barraza and Kikuchi) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Brad Pitt). The film was nominated for BAFTA awards in the following categories: Film, Achievement in Direction, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Sound.
       In addition, Babel won the Best Director award and Technical Grand Prize for Film Editing at the Cannes Film Festival. The Screen Actors Guild nominated the film for Best Ensemble Cast and Adriana Barraza for Best Supporting Actress. The picture received a nomination by the Writers Guild of America for Best Original Screenplay; the Producers Guild nominated the film for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award; and González Iñárritu was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for Directorial Achievement in Feature Film. The National Board of Review honored Kikuchi with an award for Breakthrough Performance. Babel was also listed on several best films of the year list, including NYT and LAT . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
23 May 2006.
---
Daily Variety
17 Nov 2006.
---
Entertainment Weekly
3 Nov 2006
pp. 33-37, 49.
Hollywood Reporter
17-23 May 2005.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13-19 Sep 2005.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 2006.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Nov 2006.
---
Los Angeles Times
20 May 2006.
---
Los Angeles Times
27 Oct 2006
Calendar, p. 1, 13.
New York Times
22 Oct 2006.
---
New York Times
27 Oct 2006
Arts, p. 1, 18.
Newsweek
4 Sep 2006.
---
People
18 Sep 2006.
---
Screen International
27 May 2005.
---
Time
30 Oct 2006.
---
Variety
30 Oct 2006.
---
Village Voice
25--31 Oct 2006.
---
Vogue
Nov 2006.
---
Wall Street Journal
8 Sep 2006.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Morocco Cast:
Tourists:
Mohammed's friends:
Mexico Cast:
Tampora Band: Banda El Rosario
Wedding Band: Los Incomparables
Japan Cast:
Young man's friends:
Chieko's girlfriends:
Chieko's boyfriends:
Chieko's teammates:
Babel volleyball girls:
Members of the Theatrical Company:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Film by Alejandro González Iñárritu
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
1st asst dir
1st asst dir, Morocco
1st asst dir, Japan
2d unit 1st asst dir/2d AD, Mexico
2d 1st asst dir, Japan
2d asst dir, Morocco
2d asst dir, Morocco
2d asst dir, Mexico
2d asst dir, Japan
2d 2d asst dir, Mexico
Addl 2d 2d asst dir, Mexico
3rd asst dir, Japan
4th asst dir, Japan
Addl asst dir, Japan
Addl asst dir, Japan
Addl asst dir, Japan
Addl asst dir, Japan
Addl asst dir, Japan
Addl asst dir, Japan
Addl asst dir, Japan
Addl asst dir, Japan
PRODUCERS
Prod
Co-prod
Line prod, Morocco
Line prod, Morocco
Line prod, Morocco
Line prod, Japan
WRITERS
Based on an idea by
Based on an idea by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl photog, Mexico
1st asst A cam, Morocco
1st asst A cam, Mexico and Japan
B cam op/2d unit photog, Morocco
B cam op/2d unit photog, Mexico
B cam op/2d unit photog, Japan
1st asst B cam, Morocco
1st asst B cam, Mexico
1st asst B cam, Japan
2d unit 1st asst cam, Mexico
2d asst A cam, Morocco
2d asst A cam, Mexico and Japan
2d asst B cam, Morocco
2d asst B cam, Mexico
2d asst B cam, Japan
2d unit 2d cam asst, Mexico
Addl 2d asst B cam, Mexico
3rd asst B cam, Japan
1st AC addl cam, Morocco
Addl 1st AC, Japan
Addl 1st AC, Japan
2d AC addl cam, Morocco
Addl 2d AC, Japan
Steadicam op/Addl cam, Morocco
Steadicam op/Addl cam, Mexico
Addl cam op, Japan
Addl cam asst, Mexico
Cam loader, Morocco
Cam loader, Morocco
Cam loader, Mexico
Cam loader, Japan
Tyler mount tech, Morocco
3CP tech, Morocco, Mexico and Japan
Unit stills photog, Morocco
Unit stills photog, Mexico
Unit stills photog, Japan
Unit stills photog, Japan
Unit stills photog asst, Morocco
Spec photog, Richard & Susan, Morocco
Spec photog, Yussef & Ahmed, Morocco
Spec stills photog, Mexico
Spec photog, Japan
Spec photog, Japan
Spec photog asst, Richard & Susan, Morocco
Spec photog asst, Yussef & Ahmed, Morocco
Spec stills photog asst, Mexico
Gaffer, Morocco and Japan
Gaffer, Mexico
Gaffer, Japan
Best boy elec, Morocco
Best boy, Morocco
Best boy, Japan
Chief elec, Mexico
Elec, Morocco
Elec, Morocco
Elec, Japan
Elec, Japan
Elec, Japan
Elec, Japan
Elec, Japan
Elec asst, Mexico
Elec asst, Mexico
Elec asst, Mexico
Elec asst, Mexico
Addl elec, Mexico
Addl elec, Mexico
Addl elec, Mexico
Addl elec, Mexico
Addl elec, Mexico
Addl elec, Mexico
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Addl elec, Japan
Genny op, main unit, Morocco
Genny op, Morocco
Genny op, Japan
Morocco, Prod lighting provided by
Mexico, Prod lighting provided by
Japan, Prod lighting provided by
Mexico, Cam by
Key grip, Morocco
Key grip, Mexico
Key grip, Japan
Best boy grip, Morocco
Best boy grip, Japan
Dolly grip, Mexico
Dolly grip, Japan
Dolly grip, Japan
Grip, Morocco
Grip, Morocco
Grip, Morocco
Grip, Morocco
Grip, Mexico
Grip, Mexico
Grip asst, Mexico
Grip asst, Mexico
Grip asst, Mexico
Asst grip, Japan
Asst grip, Japan
Asst grip, Japan
Asst grip, Japan
Asst grip, Japan
Asst grip, Japan
Video assist op, Morocco
Video assist op, Morocco
Video asst, Morocco
Video assist tech, Mexico
24-frame playback, Mexico
Video playback op, Japan
Video playback op, Japan
Video assist asst, Mexico
Monitor system supv, Japan
Monitor system op, Japan
Dailies telecine
Dailies projectionist, Mexico
Dailies laboratory, Japan
Workprint timing, Imagica
Lab coord, Imagica
Lab mgr, Imagica
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst prod des, Morocco
Asst prod des, Morocco
Prod des asst, Mexico
Art dir, Mexico
Art dir, Japan
Consulting art dir, Mexico
Asst art dir, Mexico
Asst art dir, Japan
Art dept coord, Morocco
Art dept coord, Mexico
Art dept coord, Japan
Art dept asst, Morocco
Art dept asst, Japan
Art dept PA, Japan
Senior graphics artist/Storyboard artist, Mexico
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Editorial P.A.
Editorial services, Laser Pacific
Data conform, Laser Pacific
Data conform, Laser Pacific
Data conform, Laser Pacific
Data management, Laser Pacific
Negative management
SET DECORATORS
Architect, Morocco
Prop master, Morocco
Prop master, Mexico
Prop master, Japan
Props chief, Mexico
Asst prop master, Mexico
Asst prop master, Japan
Stand-by prop man, Morocco
Stand-by prop man, Morocco
Set dec, Morocco
Set dec, Japan
Asst set dec, Mexico
Set dressing leadman, Morocco
Set dressing leadman, Japan
On-set dresser, Morocco
On-set dresser, Japan
Set dresser, Mexico
Set dresser, Japan
Set dresser, Japan
Set dresser asst, Mexico
Set dresser asst, Mexico
Set dresser asst, Japan
Swing gang, Morocco
Swing gang, Morocco
Swing gang, Mexico
Swing gang, Mexico
Swing gang, Mexico
Swing gang, Mexico
Swing gang, Mexico
Swing gang, Japan
Swing gang, Japan
Const mgr, Morocco
Const chief, Mexico
Const foreman, Mexico
Head carpenter, Morocco
On-set carpenter, Morocco
On-set carpenter, Mexico
On-set carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Mexico
Carpenter, Mexico
Carpenter, Mexico
Carpenter, Mexico
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
Carpenter, Japan
On-set painter, Mexico
Painter, Mexico
Painter, Mexico
Painter, Mexico
Painter, Mexico
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost des
Asst cost des, Morocco
Cost supv, Morocco
Ward supv, Mexico
Ward mistress, Japan
Cost consultant, Morocco
Key cost, Morocco
Ward coord, Mexico
Cost asst, Morocco
Cost asst, Morocco
Cost asst, Morocco
Ward asst/Seamstress, Mexico
Ward asst, Mexico
Ward asst, Mexico
Ward asst, Japan
Ward asst, Japan
Addl ward asst, Mexico
Addl ward asst, Mexico
Tailor, Morocco
MUSIC
All mus performed by
Mus co-prod
Mus rec eng & programming
Mus supv
Mus mixer/Mus ed
SOUND
Sd des/Supv sd ed
Sd editing services by
Supv eff ed/Co-des
1st sd eff ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Supv Foley ed/Mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley artist
Sd mixed at
Prod sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Mix stage tech
Sd facility coord
ADR recordist
ADR recordist
ADR recordist
ADR recordist
ADR recordist
ADR recordist
ADR recordist, Mexico
Group ADR, Mexico
Asst sd rec
Boom op, Morocco
Boom op, Mexico
Boom op, Japan
Cableman, Morocco
Cableman, Mexico
Cableman, Japan
VISUAL EFFECTS
SFX supv, Morocco
SFX tech, Morocco
SFX tech, Morocco
SFX tech, Morocco
SFX tech, Morocco
SFX coord, Morocco
Spec eff coord, Mexico
Spec eff coord, Japan
Spec eff coord, Japan
Spec eff coord, Japan
Spec eff coord, Japan
Spec eff coord, Japan
SFX asst tech, Morocco
Spec eff asst, Mexico
Prosthetics supv, Morocco
Prosthetics senior tech, Morocco
Visual eff by
Visual eff by
Visual eff supv, Intelligent Creatures
Visual eff supv, Lola Visual Effects
Assoc visual eff supv, Intelligent Creatures
2D tech supv, Lola Visual Effects
Visual eff exec prod, Intelligent Creatures
Visual eff prod, Lola Visual Effects
Visual eff prod, Intelligent Creatures
Assoc visual eff prod, Intelligent Creatures
Visual eff creative adv, Intelligent Creatures
Visual eff tech adv, Intelligent Creatures
3D supv, Intelligent Creatures
3D artist, Intelligent Creatures
3D artist, Intelligent Creatures
3D artist, Intelligent Creatures
3D artist, Intelligent Creatures
3D artist, Intelligent Creatures
Lead compositor, Intelligent Creatures
Digital fusion compositing artist, Intelligent Cre
Digital fusion compositing artist, Intelligent Cre
Digital fusion compositing artist, Intelligent Cre
Digital fusion compositing artist, Intelligent Cre
Digital fusion compositing artist, Intelligent Cre
Digital fusion compositing artist, Intelligent Cre
Digital matte painting artist, Intelligent Creatur
Digital matte painting artist, Intelligent Creatur
Junior matte painting artist, Intelligent Creature
Lead inferno artist, Lola Visual Effects
Inferno artist, Lola Visual Effects
Inferno artist, Lola Visual Effects
Inferno artist, Lola Visual Effects
Inferno artist, Lola Visual Effects
VFX stills photog, Lola Visual Effects
Systems administrator, Intelligent Creatures
Systems administrator, Intelligent Creatures
Digital intermediate provided by
Digital intermediate services, Laser Pacific
Digital intermediate services, Laser Pacific
End titles by
Title des
End title crawl
MAKEUP
Key make-up artist, Morocco
Chief make-up artist, Mexico
Make-up artist, Mexico
Make-up artist, Japan
Make-up artist for Mr. Pitt, Morocco
Make-up artist for Ms. Blanchett, Morocco
Make-up artist for Mr. Yakusho, Japan
Make-up artist for Mr. Yakusho, Japan
Asst make-up artist, Morocco
Asst make-up artist, Japan
Key hair stylist, Morocco
Key hair, Japan
Chief hair dresser, Mexico
Hair stylist for Ms. Blanchett, Morocco
Hair for Mr. Yakusho, Japan
Hair for Mr. Yakusho, Japan
Hair stylist, Mexico
Asst hair stylist, Morocco
Asst hair stylist, Morocco
Addl hair stylist, Mexico
Addl hair stylist, Mexico
Addl hair stylist, Mexico
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting, Morocco
Casting, Morocco
Casting, Morocco
Addl Moroccan casting
Casting, Mexico
Casting, Japan
Casting consultant
Casting London, Morocco
Casting London, Morocco
Casting coord, Morocco
Casting Paris, Morocco
Casting assoc, USA
Extras casting, Morocco
Extras casting, Mexico
Extras casting, Japan
Extras casting, Japan
ADR voice casting
Casting asst, Mexico
Casting asst, Mexico
Casting asst, Mexico
Casting asst, Mexico
Casting/Research asst, Mexico
Casting asst, Tijuana, Mexico
Casting asst, Japan
Casting asst, Japan
Casting asst, Japan
Casting asst, USA
Extras casting asst, Mexico
Prod consulting
Prod consulting
Unit prod mgr
Unit mgr, Mexico
2d unit mgr, Morocco
Prod services, Morocco
Prod services, Morocco
Prod services, Mexico
Prod services, Japan
Prod supv, Morocco
Prod supv, Mexico
Prod mgr, Japan
Post prod supv
Post prod coord
Prod controller
Prod coord, Morocco
Prod coord, Morocco
Prod coord, Mexico
Prod coord, Japan
Asst prod coord, Morocco
Asst prod coord, Morocco
Asst unit mgr, Mexico
Key set prod asst, Morocco and Mexico
Key prod asst, Mexico
Prod asst, Mexico
Prod asst, Mexico
Prod asst, Mexico
Prod asst, Japan
Prod asst, Japan
Prod asst, Japan
Prod asst, Japan
Prod asst, Japan
Prod asst, Japan
Prod asst, Japan
Set prod asst, Morocco
Set prod asst, Morocco
Set prod asst, Morocco
Set prod asst, Morocco
Set prod asst, Morocco
Set prod asst, Morocco
Set prod asst, Mexico
Set prod asst, Mexico
Set prod asst, Mexico
Set prod asst, Mexico
Set prod asst, Japan
Set prod asst, Japan
Set prod asst, Japan
Set prod asst, Japan
Set prod asst, Japan
Set prod asst trainee, Morocco
Asst to Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mexico
Asst to Alejandro González Iñárritu, USA
Asst to Ms. Kay Ueda, Japan
Asst to Mr. Steve Golin, USA
Asst to Mr. Steve Golin, USA
Cast asst, Morocco
Cast asst, Morocco
Prod secy/Switchboard, Morocco
Asst prod office coord, Mexico
Asst prod office coord, Mexico
Office prod asst, Morocco
Office prod asst, Morocco
Office prod asst, Mexico
Office prod asst, Japan
Office prod asst, Japan
Office prod asst, Japan
Office prod asst, Japan
Prod office trainee, Mexico
Prod office trainee, Mexico
Prod office trainee, Mexico
Prod office trainee, Mexico
US office prod asst
US office prod asst
Asst, Japan
Asst, Japan
Asst, Japan
Post intern
Post intern
Loc mgr, Morocco
Loc mgr, Casablanca, Morocco
Loc mgr, Casablanca, Morocco
Loc mgr, Mexico
Loc mgr, Japan
2d unit loc mgr, Morocco
2d unit loc mgr, Japan
Addl loc coord, Japan
Addl loc coord, Japan
2d unit loc scout, Morocco
Loc consultant, Morocco
Asst loc mgr, Morocco
Asst loc mgr, Morocco
Asst loc mgr, Morocco
Asst loc mgr, Japan
Loc asst, Mexico
Loc asst, Mexico
Loc asst, Mexico
Acting coach, Morocco
Translator, Mexico
Interpreter, Japan
Sign language interpreter, Japan
Interpreter for still photog, Morocco
Art dept interpreter, Japan
Interpreter for AD dept, Japan
2d unit interpreter, Japan
Scr translation
Scr translator, Japan
Scr translator, Japan
Sign language translator, Japan
Sign language translator, Japan
Sign language translator, Japan
Sign language translator, Japan
Sign language translator, Japan
Sign language translator, Japan
Sign language translator, Japan
Sign language translator, Japan
Sign language translator, Japan
Sign language instructor/Coord, Japan
Sign language instructor/Coord, Japan
Sign language instructor/Coord, Japan
Sign language instructor/Coord, Japan
Sign language instructor/Coord, Japan
Bilingual coord, Japan
Bilingual coord, Japan
Scr supv, Morocco
Scr supv, Japan
2d unit scr supv, Morocco
2d unit scr supv, Japan
Accountant
Prod account supv, Morocco
Prod accountant, Mexico
Prod accountant, Mexico
Prod accountant, Japan
Z FilmBusiness Affairs, Mexico
Z FilmBusiness Affairs, Mexico
Asst accountant, Morocco
Asst accountant, Morocco
Payroll services
Prod banking services
Unit pub, Morocco
Crowd marshal, Morocco
Animal wrangler, Morocco
Base camp mgr, Morocco
Catering supv, Morocco
Chef, Morocco
Chef, Morocco
Caterer, Mexico
Craft service coord, Japan
Craft service coord, Mexico
Catering crew, Mexico
Catering crew, Mexico
Catering crew, Mexico
Catering crew, Mexico
Catering crew, Mexico
Catering crew, Mexico
Catering crew, Mexico
Catering crew, Mexico
Catering crew, Mexico
Catering crew, Mexico
Set nurse, Morocco
Set medic, Mexico
Studio teacher, Mexico
Studio teacher, Mexico
Volleyball coach, Japan
Transportation mgr, Morocco
Transportation coord, Mexico
Transportation capt, Morocco
Transportation capt, Mexico
Transportation dispatcher, Mexico
Transportation asst, Morocco
Const van driver, Mexico
Cam/Insert car driver, Japan
Cam/Insert car driver, Japan
Cam/Insert car driver, Japan
Picture vehicle coord, Mexico
Picture vehicle driver, Japan
Picture vehicle driver, Japan
Picture vehicle driver, Japan
Picture vehicle driver, Japan
Picture vehicle driver, Japan
Picture vehicle driver, Japan
Picture vehicle driver, Japan
Driver, Morocco
Driver, Morocco
Driver, Morocco
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Mexico
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Driver, Japan
Morocco, Security for cast and crew provided by
Morocco, Security for cast and crew provided by
Mexico, Security for cast and crew provided by
Mexico, Security for cast and crew provided by
and assoc.
Mexico, Security for cast and crew provided by
Mexico, Security for cast and crew provided by
Mexico, Security for cast and crew provided by
Mexico, Security for cast and crew provided by
Mexico, Security for cast and crew provided by
Mexico, Security for cast and crew provided by
Mexico, Security for cast and crew provided by
Mexico, Security for cast and crew provided by
Japan, Security for cast and crew provided by
Japan, Security for cast and crew provided by
Prod legal, USA
Prod legal, USA
Completion guarantor
Permit man, Morocco
Product placement, Morocco
Making of filmmaker
Making of filmmaker
Dailies runner, Mexico
Union prod chief, Mexico
Anda representative, Mexico
STAND INS
Stunt coord, Morocco
Stunt coord, Morocco
Stunt coord, Mexico
Photo double, Morocco
Photo double, Morocco
Photo double, Morocco
Photo double, Mexico
Photo double, Mexico
Stunts, Mexico
Stunts, Mexico
Stunts, Mexico
Stunts, Mexico
COLOR PERSONNEL
Digital intermediate colorist, Quinta Industries,
Col science, Laser Pacific
Col timer
On set col correction system
SOURCES
SONGS
“Para Que Regreses,” performed by El Chapo, composed by Gabriel Ramirez, Maximo Aguirre Music Publishing, Inc., D Disa Latin Music, S. de R.L. de C.V.
“Oh My Juliet,” performed by Takashi Fujii, composed by Tommy February 6 and Malibu Convertible, R and C Ltd., © Myrica Music, Inc.
“Masterpiece,” performed by Rip Slyme, words by Ryo-Z, Ilmari, Pes and Su, composed and sound produced by DJ Fumiya, (p) 2004 Warner Music Japan Inc., © 2004 T’s Music Publishing Co., Ltd.
+
SONGS
“Para Que Regreses,” performed by El Chapo, composed by Gabriel Ramirez, Maximo Aguirre Music Publishing, Inc., D Disa Latin Music, S. de R.L. de C.V.
“Oh My Juliet,” performed by Takashi Fujii, composed by Tommy February 6 and Malibu Convertible, R and C Ltd., © Myrica Music, Inc.
“Masterpiece,” performed by Rip Slyme, words by Ryo-Z, Ilmari, Pes and Su, composed and sound produced by DJ Fumiya, (p) 2004 Warner Music Japan Inc., © 2004 T’s Music Publishing Co., Ltd.
“Smile,” performed by Aimi Yuguchi, written by Satomi and Takuya, Victor Entertainment, Inc., © Nippon Television Music Corporation
“Cumbia Sobre El Rio,” composed by Celso Piña Y Su Ronda Bogotá, courtesy Metro Casa Musical, S.A. de C.V., Bajo licencia de Warner Music México, S.A. de C.V., Blanquito Man courtesy of Luaka Bop Inc., Control Machete courtesy of Universal Music, Gildaro Montoya Ortiz, SAYCO-SACM
“Mujer Hermosa,” performed by Los Incomparables, composed by Ventura Ramos
“La Fea,” performed by Banda El Recodo, composed by Marcelino Hernandez Flores, Editorial Musical Musart, S.A. de C.V., Univision Music Group-Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
“El Pachangon,” performed by Los Incomparables, composed by Efrain Gonzalez Gonzalez, Lopez Herrera Musical, S.A. de C.V.
“El Tamarindo,” performed by Los Incomparables, composed by Eliseo Herrera Junco, Editorial Musical Musart, S.A. de C.V.
“Tu Me Acostumbraste,” performed by Chavela Vargas, composed by Frank Dominguez, Editorial Mexicana de Musica Internacional, S.A., Turner
“September,” performed by Earth Wind and Fire, composed by Al Mckay/Maurice White/Alle Willis, Beechwood de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Mexico), S.A. de C.V.
“(Only) Love Can Conquer Hate,” performed and composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto, © 2004 KAB America Inc., administered worldwide, except Japan, by EMI/Virgin Music, Japan: KAB Inc., from the KAB American and Warner Music Japan release “Chasm,” EMI Virgin/EMI Musical
“La Mesa Que Mas Aplauda (Za Za Za),” performed by Grupo Climax Y Pavido Navido Interpretada Por Chalino Sanchez, composed by Osskar Lobo/Winston Rosa/Rafael Vargas, Editorial Musical Musart, S.A. de C.V., Discos Musart S.A. de C.V.
“The Joker (ATFC’s Aces High Remix),” performed by Fatboy Slim, written by Steve Miller, Ahmet Ertegun & Eddie Curtis, produced by Fatboy Slim, (p) Skint Records 2004, Editorial Musical Musart, S.A. de C.V.
“Does He Who Looks for the Truth, Deserve the Truth?” composed by Gustavo Santaolalla, Focus Features, published by Songs of Universal, Inc. on behalf of Bleeker Songs BMI
“September & The Joker (Babel Remix),” performed by DJ Shinichi Osawa
“Can I Be Forgiven?” composed by Gustavo Santaolalla, Focus Features, published by Songs of Universal, Inc. on behalf of Bleeker Songs BMI
“Dr. Funk,” performed by Blade & Friends, written by Frantic, Caroldene Black, Kevin Frost, courtesy of Mass Music, published by Big Tiger Music BMI
“Iguaza,” composed by Gustavo Santaolalla, courtesy of Nonesuch Records, published by Universal-Musica Unica Publ. on behalf of Vasudeva Music BMI, by arrangement with Warner Group Film & TV Licensing
“Bibo No Aozora,” composed and performed by Ryuichi Sakamoto, © 1995 KAB America, Inc., administered worldwide, except Japan, by EMI/Virgin Music, Japan: KAB Inc., from the KAB America and For Life/gut release, 1996 EMI Virgin/EMI Musical
“Charge of the Herd,” composed by Philip A. Scheib, © courtesy of Paramount Pictures Corporation.
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DETAILS
Release Date:
27 October 2006
Premiere Information:
Cannes Film Festival screening: 23 May 2006
Production Date:
2 May--late September 2005
Copyright Claimant:
Babel Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 October 2006
Copyright Number:
PA0001340617
Physical Properties:
Sound
dts Digital Sound; Dolby Digital in selected theatres
Color
Deluxe; Fotokem; Kodak Motion Picture Film
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Lenses/Prints
Prints by Deluxe
Duration(in mins):
142-43
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
42677
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On the vast, barren hillsides of Morocco, goatherd Abdullah buys a rifle from his neighbor Hassan, then orders his adolescent sons Yussef and Ahmed to use it to kill jackals attacking the herd. While tending the goats that day, Yussef, at Ahmed’s prompting, tries proving Hassan’s claim that the gun has a three-kilometer range by taking a potshot at a passing tourist bus. Seeing the bus stop, the boys race home but do not tell their parents about the incident. Meanwhile, American Richard, who is vacationing with his wife Susan in Morocco, calls his home in San Diego where Mexican nanny Amelia is staying with the couple’s children Mike and Debbie. When Richard insists that Amelia remain with the children, she quietly protests that she must attend the wedding of her son Luis in Mexico. Despite knowing that crossing the border with the American children is illegal, Amelia decides to take them with her to the wedding, accompanied by her reckless but charming nephew Santiago, who drives them. Earlier at an outdoor café in Morocco, Richard is still convinced that their Moroccan vacation will help him and his wife reconnect after the sudden death their infant son Sam; however, Susan’s lingering depression and resentment continues to divide them. Soon after boarding their tourist bus, Susan reaches out for Richard, but is suddenly hit by a bullet that crashes through the window. In Japan, after deaf-mute teenager Chieko is thrown out of a volleyball game for her insolent behavior, her father Yasujiro, knowing that his daughter is acting out over her mother’s recent suicide, patiently reminds her that he misses his wife, too. Soon after at J-Pop Special club, Chieko ... +


On the vast, barren hillsides of Morocco, goatherd Abdullah buys a rifle from his neighbor Hassan, then orders his adolescent sons Yussef and Ahmed to use it to kill jackals attacking the herd. While tending the goats that day, Yussef, at Ahmed’s prompting, tries proving Hassan’s claim that the gun has a three-kilometer range by taking a potshot at a passing tourist bus. Seeing the bus stop, the boys race home but do not tell their parents about the incident. Meanwhile, American Richard, who is vacationing with his wife Susan in Morocco, calls his home in San Diego where Mexican nanny Amelia is staying with the couple’s children Mike and Debbie. When Richard insists that Amelia remain with the children, she quietly protests that she must attend the wedding of her son Luis in Mexico. Despite knowing that crossing the border with the American children is illegal, Amelia decides to take them with her to the wedding, accompanied by her reckless but charming nephew Santiago, who drives them. Earlier at an outdoor café in Morocco, Richard is still convinced that their Moroccan vacation will help him and his wife reconnect after the sudden death their infant son Sam; however, Susan’s lingering depression and resentment continues to divide them. Soon after boarding their tourist bus, Susan reaches out for Richard, but is suddenly hit by a bullet that crashes through the window. In Japan, after deaf-mute teenager Chieko is thrown out of a volleyball game for her insolent behavior, her father Yasujiro, knowing that his daughter is acting out over her mother’s recent suicide, patiently reminds her that he misses his wife, too. Soon after at J-Pop Special club, Chieko and her friend Mitsu flirt with several boys from across the restaurant, but are soon ridiculed when the boys find out they are deaf. Outraged at being treated like a “monster” and desperate for some kind of communication, Chieko flashes the boys with the “real monster” under her skirt. Meanwhile, in a small, dusty Mexican village, dozens gather to attend Luis and Patricia’s wedding. At first shy and bewildered by the different culture, Mike and Debbie soon join other children from the village in capturing chickens to slaughter for the celebration, which continues long into the night with dancing and music. Hours earlier, the Moroccan tour bus pulls to a halt as Richard screams for someone to help his wife. Far from a city, tour guide Anwar suggests driving the bus to his home town Tazarine, where the American, Australian and European tourists are immediately filled with animosity toward the villagers, whom they assume must be terrorists. Leaving the tourists on the bus, Richard carries Susan into Anwar’s house and calls his sister Rachel, ordering her to contact the American embassy. Meanwhile, when the only doctor, a veterinarian, pulls out a crude needle and thread to sew up Susan’s wound to prevent her from bleeding to death, Richard and Anwar must hold the terrified Susan down for the procedure. At the same time in Japan, Chieko, after being thrown out of her dentist’s office for trying to kiss him, returns to her luxurious apartment building where she meets two detectives looking for her father. Chieko takes Detective Kenji’s card, although she is wary of his intentions after the recent police investigation into her mother's death. After learning from their father that a tourist was killed on a bus by terrorists, Yussef and Ahmed hide the gun in the hills. Nearby, Police Captain Alarid and his men brutally interrogate Hassan, until he tells them he sold the gun to Abdullah and explains that the gun was given to him by a Japanese hunter as a gift. Returning home from hiding the gun, Yussef and Ahmed are stopped by the police. Yussef misleads them in their quest for Abdullah and races home where he admits to his father that he shot the gun, but accuses Ahmed of prompting him. Desperate to deflect his father’s wrath, Ahmed blurts out that Yussef has been watching their sister Zohra undress. Equally angered by the shooting and Yussef’s breach of family code, Abdullah lashes out at the boys. In Tazarine, the tourists rudely refuse the villagers’ offers of food and tell Richard he has only thirty minutes until they leave without him and Susan. While Moroccan television reports that the U.S. government overreacted by insinuating that the shooting was terrorist-related, Anwar’s mother gingerly holds Susan’s head to help her smoke a pipe containing drugs to soothe her excruciating pain and hysteria. At a Japanese park, Chieko and Mitsu meet Haruki, the cousin of a teammate, and two other boys, who speak slowly enough for the girls to lip-read what they are saying. Assured by their friendliness, the girls get high on drugs and whiskey and traverse the city in a giggling bliss with the boys, ending at a disco, where Chieko is disillusioned when she sees Mitsu making out with Haruki. Arriving at home, Chieko then asks the doorman to call Kenji, to whom she was attracted earlier. In Morocco, the police spot Abdullah and the boys fleeing in the hills and start shooting. The three take cover behind rocks, but when Ahmed is shot in the leg, Yussef, seeing no other way to save his family, shoots at the officers, wounding one. Meanwhile in Mexico, despite Luis’ protests that Santiago is drunk and has a police record, Amelia, with no other way to return to San Diego, loads Mike and Debbie into his car. At the border, an officer, seeing the white children with the obviously drunk Santiago and fearful Amelia, searches the car and demands that Amelia show them a letter of permission from the children’s parents. Incensed and afraid, Santiago speeds away, then drops the now-weeping Amelia and children in the desert far from any road, promising to return for them after he has lost the police, who are in close pursuit. Back in Tazarine, after hours of waiting, Richard grows more frustrated upon learning that the American Embassy is sending a helicopter, having stopped the ambulance for fear of further “terrorist acts.” When the belligerent tourists then accuse him of endangering their lives, Richard hits one of the men, prompting the group to commandeer the bus and leave. In Japan, Chieko, who believes the police are still investigating her mother's suicide, tells the detective that she saw her mother jump from the balcony. Seeing the picture of Yasujiro hunting in Morocco, the detective is shocked by the family tragedy and tries to explain that his questions are about an unrelated matter. As he attempts to leave, Chieko tries to seduce him by returning to the room nude. When the detective pushes her away, Chieko bursts into tears at another rejection and miscommunication. After he comforts her with a long embrace, Chieko writes him a note, insisting that he read it later. On the hillside in Morocco, officers shoot and kill Ahmed, prompting Yussef to bash the gun against a rock and then walk bravely toward them with his hands held high in surrender, crying “I killed the American” and begging them to save his brother. Meanwhile at Anwar’s house, Susan and Richard finally cry together for Sam, absolving each other of any wrongdoing. After sleeping on the desert floor, Amelia and the children awaken to a desolate landscape that is soon unbearably hot. Forced to leave the children under the shade of a tree with no water, Amelia continues alone for help. Hours later, Amelia stumbles across the sand to chase down a passing patrol vehicle, but the officer immediately arrests her on suspicion of kidnapping, expressing little sympathy for her pleas to save the children. Later at a police facility, Amelia is told the children were found. The officer continues that, although the children could have died in the adverse conditions, Richard has declined to press charges against her. Despite Amelia’s pleas that she has lovingly reared the children since birth and has lived in the U.S. for sixteen years, the officer coldly states that because she is an illegal resident, he is recommending voluntary deportation, threatening further action against her if she refuses. Soon after, Amelia meets Luis in Mexico and cries in his arms at the loss of her American life. In Tazarine, as the helicopter descends to pick up Richard and Susan, Richard attempts to repay Anwar for his kindness, but he gently refuses. Reaching a hospital in a nearby city, dozens of reporters and camera crews descend on the couple, anxious to cover the “injured American.” Once in the hospital, Richard calls Amelia, ordering her to stay with the children despite her son’s wedding. At the sound of his children’s voices on the phone, he weeps helplessly. At the same time in Japan, Kenji, seeing Yasujiro in the lobby of the apartment building, asks about the gun in the photograph, explaining that it was registered to Yasujiro and was used in an attempted murder. Yasujiro says he gave it to Hassan as a gift and, although concerned about Hassan, is more grateful to hear that he is not implicated. When the detective then offers his condolences to Yasujiro for his wife’s fatal fall from the balcony, Yasujiro orders him to leave, informing him that his wife shot herself and Chieko was the first to find her. Moments later, as Kenji sees a television report on Susan’s recovery and reads Chieko’s note, Yasujiro, finding his daughter nude on the balcony, tenderly embraces her and sobs with her over their incredible loss and loneliness. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.