Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu has devoted the last four years to a project that puts people directly into the harrowing experience of an immigrant’s journey. The virtual reality project, titled “Carne y Arena,” opens with spectators standing in a desert as a small group of refugees slowly approach from far off on the horizon. What comes next, as Variety reported, is a powerful experience that lasts only six-and-a-half-minutes. As Iñárritu explained, “My intention was to experiment with VR technology to explore the human condition in an attempt to break the dictatorship of the frame.”
Starting on July 2nd, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will host Iñárritu’s “Carne y Arena.”
— Mark Olsen (@IndieFocus) June 2, 2017
Working with Academy Award-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, whose credits include “Birdman,” “Gravity,” and “The Revenant,” Iñárritu wanted to create an environment that was faithful to the experience immigrants and refugees go through. By creating the immersive environment, Iñárritu forces the “visitor to go through a direct experience walking in the immigrants’ feet, under their skin, and into their hearts.” Ultimately, every person who takes this journey will have their own experience with “Carne y Arena.” This is exactly what Iñárritu wants, as he told Indie Wire, “I give you the will, with light and sound and all, but you act unilaterally. It reveals who you are.”
Critics have praised “Carne y Arena” as an experience that finally gets virtual reality right. Starting on July 2nd, people in the Los Angeles area can experience it at the LACMA. Tickets will be available from their website, here.
READ: Leonardo DiCaprio says Working with Alejandro G. Iñárritu was the Reason He Did ‘The Revenant’