READ MORE: Cannes: Helmer Pablo Fendrik Talks About Turning the Western on Its Head
The western genre is getting a foreign spin in Pablo Fendrik’s “Ardor,” starring Gael García Bernal, Alice Braga and Chico Díaz. The film premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and vied to be Argentina’s Best Foreign Language Oscar submission after earning 10 nominations at the Argentine Academy of Cinematography Arts and Sciences Awards. Despite losing the Oscar bid to “Wild Tales,” “Ardor” became a hit in its home country and will finally hit the states this summer.
Bernal stars as Kaí, a mysterious Amazon shaman who goes on a violent offensive to protect a poor tobacco family against ruthless land-grabbers. In the process, he forms a special bond with the family’s daughter, Vânia (Braga), and learns just how far he’s willing to go in order to save his fellow indigenous people.
Written and directed by Pablo Fendrik (“Blood Appears,” “The Muggers”), “Ardor” marks the second collaboration between Bernal and Braga after Fernando Meirelles’ “Blindness.” Participant Media will release the Argentinian western July 17.