At the End of the Tunnel
Director Rodrigo Grande
One of the most cerebrally thrilling films of the year, this Argentinian gem involves a man in a wheelchair who lives alone. Just when he lets a woman and her daughter move in, he realizes bank robbers are tunneling beneath his home to access a nearby vault. Then, physical challenges aside, he decides to get in on the action. See here for more.
Where did this story come from? Was it based at all on true events?
It is not based on anything real. This came up thinking while at a bar, noting things. I realized that if I spend hours, or days, and sometimes months thinking about a film at a cafe or bar, something comes out. I wrote this story in the time that I separated from my partner after being together for 15 years. Something of that climate in which I lived impregnates the film.
Do you have any personal connection to the characters?
I suspect that the characters that one writes are always variations of oneself, symbolizations of some parts of our personality.
Though the audience is given some hints as to what happened, we never really learn exactly what occurred to put the protagonist in his wheelchair and alone in his home. Why did you decide to keep that somewhat vague and mysterious?
It was better the assumption and the mystery of what happened to Joaquin (Leonardo Sbaraglia) than to know precisely. We know in this way that there was an automobile accident, that he is in a wheelchair, and that his wife and daughter are gone. That the viewer is given this information without the details contributes to the suspenseful tone of the film.
With so many plot twist and turns, how do you map it all out when making the film? Is there a very detailed outline that you follow, or do you figure it out as you go?
I do all kinds of outlines, outlines, drawings, etc., so not to get lost in the story and not to contradict it.
Is there much of a tradition of “heist” films in Argentina?
The Argentine police officer film has a very rich tradition, from the golden age of cinema in Argentina in the ‘40s and ‘50s, to the present day, especially through the excellent police cinema developed by Adolfo Aristarain.