‘Museo’ Director Discusses How Fact Can Limit Fiction in Movies (Video)

Alonso Ruizpalacios said that he took a “left turn” when telling the true story of a museum robbery in Mexico

When telling the true story of the 1985 robbery of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, director Alonso Ruizpalacios said that his film, “Museo,” ended up teaching him something unexpected about the relationship between fact and fiction.

“We really took a left turn and went our own way,” Ruizpalacios told TheWrap at the Toronto International Film Festival. “Sometimes you find that when telling a story based on facts, they become a constraint for fiction…for a film to work.”

“Museo” follows Gael Garcia Bernal and Leonardo Ortizgris as Juan and Benjamin, two slacker veterinarian students who come up with a plan to rob the museum after Juan takes a part-time job there. Despite their bumbling nature, they are surprisingly able to pull it off, only to realize that actually making a profit off their gains after becoming hated thieves is nigh impossible.

Ruizpalacios says that as he planned out the story for “Museo,” he found himself more interested in the motives and the aftermath of the heist than the heist itself, especially Juan’s relationship with his disapproving father.

“The film in itself is more of a comment and reflection on storytelling, on the relationship between story and history. There is a lot of fiction in history and how we tell that history.”

Watch Ruizpalacios’ remarks as well as Garcia Bernal’s thoughts on his character in the clip above.