Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu swept the 2015 Academy Awards. He and his producers took home golden statues for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture for his film "Birdman."
But more than a decade before his Oscar-winning turn," González Iñárritu made a 10-minute long short film for BMW's "BMW Films" advertising campaign.
In 2001, the German automaker recruited a series of big-name filmmakers — such as González Iñárritu, Ang Lee, Tony Scott, and John Woo — to make a series of short vignettes staring actor Clive Owen as "the driver," along with a slew of BMW cars.
In González Iñárritu's contribution, "Powder Keg," a veteran war photographer named Harvey Jacobs (played by Stellan Skarsgaard) witnesses a brutal massacre by Latin American military forces. The United Nations dispatches a BMW X5 SUV, driven by Owen, to smuggle the photographer out of the country.
As the Driver and Jacobs flee towards to the border, the photographer recounts the many horrors of war he has encountered over the course of his career while expressing deep regret over his inability to stop the atrocities. As they speak, the photographer, who was shot during the massacre, instructs the driver to give his film and dog tags to his mother.
Soon, the military is alerted and pursues the BMW. Eventually, the car does make it to border — only to be confronted by border guards. As a guard interrogates the Driver, a wounded Jacobs takes pictures. Startled by the camera, the guard points a gun at the Driver's head.
After a few tense moments, the Driver pushes the gun away before backing the silver BMW into the army truck behind it. Gunfire rings out as the SUV flees towards the safety.
They reach safety, but it's too late. The photographer had died. We later learn that the Jacobs' photos of the massacre earned him a posthumous Pulitzer Prize.
Overall, BMW Films' series of eight vignettes proved to be very received and remain popular on YouTube even a decade later.
See the complete film here:
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