CANNES, Francia (AP) — La violencia representada en "Heli" es tan brutal, que tras su estreno en el Festival de Cine de Cannes una periodista le dijo al director Amat Escalante que canceló un viaje previsto a México y varios espectadores se salieron de la sala.

El crudo y sombrío drama mexicano sobre la guerra contra las drogas sacudió el jueves al magno evento cinematográfico de la riviera francesa.

"No es una película anti-turismo para México, para nada", dijo Escalante a los reporteros en Cannes, donde "Heli" es una de las 20 cintas que compiten por el máximo premio del festival, la Palma de Oro. "Es un drama que es bastante extremo porque creo que de hecho es peor, la realidad en México, pero no la realidad del día a día".

"Es un país maravilloso, un país hermoso que tiene este virus que invade ciertas partes, y mucha gente está sufriendo", añadió el realizador, a sus 34 años el director más joven y el único latinoamericano en la contienda.

"Sería socialmente muy irresponsable no hablar de esas cosas malas que están pasando en nuestro país", expresó Gabriel Reyes, quien escribió el guion con Escalante. "Creo que si nunca hablamos de las cosas malas entonces los problemas nunca se solventarán".

Filmada en los oscuros y hermosos paisajes alrededor de la ciudad de Guanajuato, en el centro de México, el filme se enfoca en Heli (interpretado por Armando Espitia), un joven que trabaja en una planta automotriz y vive con su esposa, su bebé, su padre y su hermana de 12 años, Estella (Andrea Vergara).

Cuando Estella se enamora de un policía, la familia es arrastrada al mundo de las narcoguerras del país.

Con una impactante rapidez, la violencia estalla sobre ellos, dejando a los sobrevivientes afectados rehaciendo sus vidas lo mejor que pueden.

Dos escenas le arrancaron gritos ahogados al público de Cannes. Una muestra un acto de maldad contra un cachorro, la otra la brutal tortura a un adolescente por parte de niños que incluye lo que un crítico describió delicadamente como "inmolación genital".

Para algunos miembros de la audiencia fue simplemente demasiado, y se salieron de la sala. La publicación The Hollywood Reporter calificó la cinta como "un austero banquete melancólico de sadismo que revuelve el estómago y de miseria pornográfica en los bajos fondos", mientras que Variety la describió como "consumada pero particularmente desagradable".

Otros, en tanto, la compararon con filmes como "Ciudad de Dios" y "Amores perros", descripciones artísticas y poderosas de la violencia en Latinoamérica.

"Heli" llega a Cannes un año después que la contendiente mexicana "Post Tenebras Lux" de Carlos Reygadas, una respuesta más surrealista pero temáticamente similar a la narcoviolencia que ha causado al menos 70.000 muertes desde el 2006.

Escalante, quien ha trabajado como asistente de dirección de Reygadas, defendió la representación de la violencia en su filme. Su estilo cinematográfico es la antítesis de Hollywood, con escenas imperturbables que crean una sensación de desapego pero no ofrecen escape del horror en la pantalla.

"Si voy a mostrar violencia, le voy a dar el peso que debe tener", dijo el director. "Moralmente, creo que la responsabilidad es mostrar la violencia como debe ser: triste y desagradable, muy sucia, una pesadilla".

"Podría mostrarla a medias", añadió. "Hitchcock dijo que es más poderoso no mostrarla. Siempre he recordado eso, pero he tratado de hacer lo contrario".

___

Jill Lawless está en Twitter como http://Twitter.com/JillLawless

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  • Award Winners Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: Mexican director Amat Escalante poses after being awarded with the Best Director award for the film 'Heli' at the photocall for award winners during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican director Amat Escalante poses on May 26, 2013 during a photocall after being awarded with the Best Director award for the film 'Heli' at the 66th Cannes film festival in Cannes. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 'Zulu' Premiere And Inside Closing Ceremony - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: Mexican director Amat Escalante poses on stage after being awarded with the Best Director award for the film 'Heli' at the'Zulu' Premiere and Inside Closing Ceremony during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican director Amat Escalante poses on stage after being awarded on May 26, 2013 with the Best Director award for the film 'Heli' during the closing ceremony of the 66th Cannes film festival in Cannes. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 'Zulu' Premiere And Inside Closing Ceremony - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: Mexican director Amat Escalante poses on stage after being awarded with the Best Director award for the film 'Heli' at the'Zulu' Premiere and Inside Closing Ceremony during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

  • 'Zulu' Premiere And Inside Closing Ceremony - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: Mexican director Amat Escalante (L) receives the best director award for 'Heli' as actor Forest Whitaker of 'Zulu' watches on stage at Closing Ceremony during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

  • Palme D'Or Winners Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: Director Amat Escalante poses with 'Prix de la mise en scene' (The Best Director) award for the film 'Heli' at the Palme D'Or Winners Photocall during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

  • Award Winners Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: Mexican director Amat Escalante poses after being awarded with the Best Director award for the film 'Heli' at the photocall for award winners during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage)

  • Award Winners Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: Mexican director Amat Escalante poses after being awarded with the Best Director award for the film 'Heli' at the photocall for award winners during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)

  • Palme D'Or Winners Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: Director Amat Escalante poses with 'Prix de la mise en scene' (The Best Director) award for the film 'Heli' at the Palme D'Or Winners Photocall during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican director Amat Escalante poses on stage on May 26, 2013 after being awarded with the Best Director award for the film 'Heli' during the closing ceremony of the 66th Cannes film festival in Cannes. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Palme D'Or Winners Press Conference - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: Mexican director Amat Escalante poses with his price after being awarded with the Best Director award for the film 'Heli' during the Palme D'Or Winners Press Conference during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican director Amat Escalante poses on May 26, 2013 during a photocall after being awarded with the Best Director award for the film 'Heli' during the 66th Cannes film festival in Cannes. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Palme D'Or Winners Dinner Arrivals - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: 'Best director' for 'Heli' Amat Escalante attends he Palme D'Or Winners dinner during The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Agora on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican director Amat Escalante poses on May 26, 2013 during a photocall after being awarded with the Best Director award for the film 'Heli' at the 66th Cannes film festival in Cannes. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Palme D'Or Winners Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: Amat Escalante poses with 'Prix de la mise en scene' (The Best Director) award for the film 'Heli' at the Palme D'Or Winners Photocall during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Michel Dufour/French Select via Getty Images)

  • Palme D'Or Winners Photocall - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: Amat Escalante poses with 'Prix de la mise en scene' (The Best Director) award for the film 'Heli' at the Palme D'Or Winners Photocall during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Michel Dufour/French Select via Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican director Amat Escalante poses on May 26, 2013 during a photocall after being awarded with the Best Director award for the film 'Heli' at the 66th Cannes film festival in Cannes. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Palme D'Or Winners Dinner Arrivals - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 26: 'Best director' for 'Heli' Amat Escalante attends he Palme D'Or Winners dinner during The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Agora on May 26, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

  • 'Heli' Premiere - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 16: Director Amat Escalante, actress Andrea Vergara and actor Armando Espitia attend the 'Heli' Premiere during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Theatre Lumiere on May 16, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

  • 'Heli' Premiere - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 16: Actress Andrea Vergara, director Amat Escalante and actor Armando Espitia attend the 'Heli' Premiere during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Theatre Lumiere on May 16, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    (From L) Mexican director Amat Escalante and actors Andrea Vergara and Armando Espitia pose on May 16, 2013 as they arrive for the screening of their film 'Heli' presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 'Heli' Premiere - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 16: Director Amat Escalante, actress Andrea Vergara and actor Armando Espitia attend the 'Heli' Premiere during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Theatre Lumiere on May 16, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

  • 'Heli' Premiere - The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 16: Actor Armando Espitia, actress Andrea Vergara and director Amat Escalante attend the 'Heli' Premiere during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival at the Theatre Lumiere on May 16, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

  • Armando Espitia

    Actor Armando Espitia poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Heli at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

  • Amat Escalante

    Director Amat Escalante poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Heli at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

  • Armando Espitia

    Actor Armando Espitia gestures for photographers during a photo call for the film Heli at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican actress Andrea Vergara, director Amat Escalante and actor Armando Espitia pose on May 16, 2013 during a photocall for their film 'Heli' presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Andrea Vergara

    Actress Andrea Vergara poses for photographers during a photo call for the film Heli at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

  • Armando Espitia, Andrea Vergara, Amat Escalante

    From left, actor Armando Espitia, director Amat Escalante and actress Andrea Vergara pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Heli at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

  • Armando Espitia, Andrea Vergara

    Actors Armando Espitia, left, and Andrea Vergara pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Heli at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

  • Armando Espitia, Andrea Vergara, Amat Escalante

    From left, actress Andrea Vergara, director Amat Escalante and actor Armando Espitia pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Heli at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

  • From left, actress Andrea Vergara, director Amat Escalante and actor Armando Espitia pose for photographers aduring a photo call for the film Heli at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Amat Escalante

    Director Amat Escalante answers questions during a press conference for the film Heli at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • From left, Henri Behar, Gabriel Reyes, actor Armando Espitia, director Amat Escalante, actress Andrea Vergara and producer Jaime Romandia answer questions during a press conference for the film Heli at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican director Amat Escalante poses on May 16, 2013 during a photocall for his film 'Heli' presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican director Amat Escalante poses on May 16, 2013 during a photocall for his film 'Heli' presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican actress Andrea Vergara, director Amat Escalante and actor #pose on May 16, 2013 during a photocall for their film 'Heli' presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican producer Jaime Romandia, actress Andrea Vergara, director Amat Escalante and actor Armando Espitia pose on May 16, 2013 during a photocall for their film 'Heli' presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    (from L) Mexican actor Armando Espitia, director Amat Escalante and actress Andrea Vergara pose on May 16, 2013 during a photocall for their film 'Heli' presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican director Amat Escalante poses on May 16, 2013 during a photocall for his film 'Heli' presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican director Amat Escalante poses on May 16, 2013 during a photocall for his film 'Heli' presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ADDITION-FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNES

    Mexican actress Andrea Vergara, director Amat Escalante and actor Armando Espitia pose on May 16, 2013 during a photocall for their film 'Heli' presented in Competition at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opened on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)