Kathryn Bigelow angers Paraguay and Argentina

May 14, 2010
Rachel Helyer-Donaldson

Hurt Locker director’s next film ‘Triple Frontier’ will ruin image say Argentina and Paraguay

The Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow has angered the Argentine and Paraguayan governments who claim her next film Triple Frontier could destroy their tourism industries.

Bigelow hopes to make her film in the border region between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay - one of South America's most visited tourist destinations thanks to attractions such as the Iguacu Falls (above). However the area is also notorious for activities such as smuggling, arms dealing and drug trafficking and it is these aspects which Bigelow wants to throw a spotlight on.

Triple Frontier will see Bigelow team up with scriptwriter and former journalist Mark Boal, who she worked with on The Hurt Locker, the gritty Iraq war film which won six Academy Awards at this year's Oscars.

This week the tourism ministers from Argentina and Paraguay both spoke out against the project, saying their countries will not co-operate with the filmmakers.

On Tuesday Paraguay's tourism minister, Liz Cramer, told her country's La Nación newspaper that Triple Border should receive "no support" from the government and that it would be "stupid" to help the film. Local businesses were also furious, she said. "How much will it cost us to clean up our image [afterwards]?"

There were "sufficient themes in the world" to make a movie about, she argued, adding that Bigelow should instead make a film about "the 8,000 executions on the frontier with the United States".

Also wading into the debate was Argentina's tourism minister, Enrique Meyer. He told AFP that his government was "deeply indignant when we discovered that this project seeks to negatively portray this region".

There has been no official comment, so far, from Brazil's tourism ministry. However Carlos Duso, who works for the town hall in the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguaçu said local authorities were "prepared to help in any way necessary".

He told the Brazilian news website G1: "It's just a film, isn't it? New York has been destroyed many times in the cinema and this hasn't damaged the city's image. We have to keep an open mind."

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