Gael Garcia Bernal explores mind vs body in Berlinale sci-fi ‘Another End’

By Thomson Reuters Feb 17, 2024 | 3:13 PM

By Hanna Rantala and Miranda Murray

BERLIN (Reuters) – If it were possible to temporarily bring back the consciousness of a loved one who died, albeit in another person’s body, to say good-bye one last time, would you do it?

That’s the question posed by director Piero Messina’s new science fiction film “Another End,” which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday night.

Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, known for “Amores Perros,” and “The Worst Person in the World” Renate Reinsve in her second film in competition, “Another End” unfolds in a grey-toned metropolis where lab-coated employees of Aeterna place dead souls into paid hosts for ostensibly therapeutic purposes.

Bernal, starring as Sal, decides to bring back the love of his life, Reinsve’s Zoe, after being urged to do so by his sister Ebe, played by Oscar-nominated actor Berenice Bejo.

After initial hesitation over the concept, Sal once again has joy in his life – but that joy is limited under Aeterna’s strict rules on how long a consciousness can inhabit a host.

“It is a very romantic film that talks about loss. But it’s a fantastic movie. I am very proud of it,” Bernal told Reuters ahead of the premiere on the red carpet.

At a press conference earlier Saturday, Bernal told journalists that filming “Another End” gave him a different perspective on life.

“In Western culture, we’ve so detached the body from the life of the person that I started to wonder like, no, it’s not so separate, and that really changed me in many ways.”

Olivia Williams, who plays neighbour Juliette, who has brought back her husband and daughter, told journalists she found the concept terrible, as it would extend one’s pain.

But: “That’s the awful thing, if you have that choice, even if you know it’s a stupid choice, just five more minutes with that person” can be hard to say no to, Williams added.

(Reporting by Miranda Murray and Hanna Rantala; Editing by Nick Zieminski)