B R I E F   S Y N O P S I S
Amores Perros director Alejandro González Iñárritu explores the emotionally and physically charged existences of three people—a college professor (Sean Penn), wife and mother (Naomi Watts), and struggling ex-con (Benicio Del Toro of Traffic). An accident unexpectedly throws their lives and destinies together, in a story that will take them to the heights of love, the depths of revenge, and the promise of redemption. If spiritual equilibrium is to be regained by one of them, it could come at great cost to the others.
  The Themes in 21 Grams

Where can we find hope? That has always been one of my obsessions as a writer. In part because hope means everything: the strength to continue living day after day, the possibility of sharing with someone: the chance to build a life. Without hope we are condemned to a life lacking horizons, a mediocre life. Life without hope turns our daily tasks into a mechanical activity, a mere struggle to survive. Nothing else. And we can never forget that this is our only life on earth, or at least, the only one we are certain we have.

When I wrote 21 Grams, I wanted to explore the way a human being can fulfill its need of hope. Not the easy ways to get it, but through the hells that some people live on earth: the hell of drug addiction, the hell of jail, the hell of bad health. How can these people, submerged in such a deep abyss, overcome their pain, their fears, their guilt and find hope again? Where, within the darkest places, can someone find the hidden path toward hope?

In 21 Grams the characters have to trust that, beyond death and desolation, life has an enormous power. They discover that most of the time hope can be found in the simplest, and at the same time, the more complex things: a child, family, trust, loyalty, forgiveness, love. For me 21 Grams is a story of love...deep and profound love. A story of sacrifice, of redemption. I insist: a story of love.

When most people hear the title of the film, 21 Grams, they immediately think of drugs. No. 21 Grams is not a film about drugs. 21 grams is supposedly the weight a person loses at the exact moment of one's death. It's been said that doctors have put dying people on scales and that everybody, skinny or fat, man or woman, adult or child, loses 21 grams. I don't know if this information is exact. What we wanted was to create a metaphor for the weight a dead person has over the loved ones that survive them. After their death, these loved ones remain with us all of our life. We miss them every day, every single day. And of course, life goes on, but this absence follows us forever.

And this absence is much more painful when no one expects it, when the violence of circumstances takes a loved one away from us in a brutal way. When this happens we cannot understand, we simply cannot. We get angry, furious, guilty, frustrated. Whom do we blame? Destiny? God? Bad luck? And how do I feel if, because of me, someone loses a loved one? Whom do I blame? Myself? Destiny? God? Bad luck?

These are the questions that hammer the characters in 21 Grams. Not as a philosophical matter, but as a real, immediate problem. A problem that can affect any one of us: you, me, someone close to us. Life is not granted to just anyone. Life, as the Sting song says, is very fragile. And the characters of 21 Grams learn this the hard way, but they also learn that life has a huge power in itself; a power that can allow us to move on, to continue living, to discover the beauty of things. Life: fragile and strong at the same time, painful and gratifying, dark and full of light. Life.


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