Alejandro González Iñárritu

Article Bio Works Projects Images www
identity, metropolises, violence
Film (feature film)
America, Central
Mexico City
created on:
May 23, 2003
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since November 18, 2011. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
information provided by:
Other languages:
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu © Promo


It´s a dog´s life

Born in 1963 in Mexico City, Alejandro González Iñárritu was firstly a successful radio DJ and television producer, then in 1999 his feature-film debut ´Amores perros´ won an Oscar nomination as the best foreign feature film.
Born in 1963 in Mexico City, Alejandro González Iñárritu first drew attention to himself as one of the youngest television producers in Mexican history. For his cinema debut ´Amores perros´ (1999) he wished to avoid dependence on state sponsorship and managed to interest a couple of friendly producers in his project. It took 36 writes and re-writes of the film-script before he and the author Guillermo Arriaga Jordan agreed on a final version, but the perseverance paid off in every respect.

Alejandro González Iñárritu turned to a theme popular with the younger generation of Mexican film-makers - the metropolis Mexico City, the city Moloch with more than 20,000,000 inhabitants, widening chaos, everyday violence, cynical wealth, inhuman connections and brutal friendships - for many a dog´s life.

As a last hope, the folk in this desolation try their luck in forbidden gambling and cock-fighting, as many Mexican films have already shown. For Alejandro González Iñárritu this was not enough. He introduced dog-fighting as an even stronger metaphor and took it to its bitter conclusion. It is a surrogate fight in which the dogs tear each other apart like the members of a gang or like the partners in a love affair.

Three tales, three separate worlds collide bloodily: that of Octavio and his fighting dog Cofi who is bleeding to death; that of Valena, the blonde model on hige posters on house-walls, with her lap-dog Richie; and that of Chivo, who used to be a guerrillero and is now a hired killer sleeping like a tramp among dogs. The folk in the film have gone to the dogs and, indeed, care more for dogs than for each other.

Octavio rests on his flight from the gang´s persecution in Valeria´s van. Consequently the model Valeria is crippled and dropped by her rich lover. Even Octavio´s brother is nearly killed in the accident, which offers a ray of hope for his wife Susana, who is continually threatened by him but actually loves him. The killer Chivo observes the accident, grabs the half-dead killer Cofi and frees him from the mob of his baiters. This makes possible an astonishing transformation, which is the only flash of hope in this ominous film.

Alejandro González Iñárritu found for each of the three episodes a style and rhythm of its own, which he developed out of the social milieu of the single figures. The atmosphere of aseptic riches (in the tale of the ravishing Valeria) seems at first to slip like an alien into the crummy microcosm (of Octavio and Chivo), till the violence from outside bursts into the fragile idyll and ruins the flat and Valeria´s life. With ´Amores perros´, the director has managed to make an outstanding film, in which the dog´s life of Mexican´s finds a grandiose and gritty expression.
Author: Peter B. Schumann / Gabriele Stiller


Born in Mexico City in 1963 Alejandro González Iñárritu firstly studied drama-directing under the Polish director Ludwig Margules then studied film-directing in Maine as well as under Judith Weston in Los Angeles. At the age of 23 he was already a director, producer and disc-jockey on WMF, the most important Mexican transmitter of rock-music, and in 1987 he compered the television show ´Magia Digital´. From 1988 to 1990 he composed music for six Mexican feature-films, including ´Garra de tigre´ from Hernando Name (1989). At the age of 27 he became one of the youngest artistic directors of Televisa, of the great Mexican television empire. In 1991 he founded ´Zeta Film´, a society for producing short and advertising films as well as television programs.

In 1995 he directed his first half-length television film ´Detrás del dinero´. In 1999 he managed to make his cinema debut ´Amores perros´ without state sponsorship and thus managed to win an international reputation (the prize for the best feature film from Semaine de la Critique, the critic´s prize in Cannes in 2000, an Oscar nomination, several Mexican film prizes and so on). In 2002 he was then invited to the USA to direct ´21 gramos´, a production from Universal/Focus with a budget of about 20 million dollars.



Film / TV,
Drama. Mexico/Spain. Scriptwriter together with Armando Bo, Nicolás Giacobone

Chacun son cinéma ou Ce petit coup au coeur quand la lumière s´éteint et que le film commence

Film / TV,


Film / TV,
Feature film. France/USA/Mexico (co-author and director)

21 gramos

Film / TV,

Powder Keg

Film / TV,

Amores perros

Film / TV,
(feature-film debut)

Detrás del dinero

Film / TV,
(half-length television film)


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the partner institutions.

The Mexico-festival in Berlin

(15 September 02 - 01 December 02)


Informations about the film "Amores perros"

(in Spanish)

Film critic in Spanish about "Amores perros"

video interview with the artist

about his film "Amores perros"
Amores Perros