Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s infamous inaugural campaign speech – during which he alleged that Mexico is sending some “rapists” across the border in the United States – keeps coming back to haunt him.
After his initial remarks on immigration, the real estate mogul was widely condemned by Latino organizations and activist groups; he lost several endorsement deals and made fierce opponents out of members of the international community.
Now, his words are being used to market “Desierto,” a new Spanish language film starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, a provocative drama which portrays violence being inflicted on immigrants trying to cross the border. A new trailer for the film, which debuted last week in Mexico, shows immigrants being gunned down while Trump’s distinct voice intones his controversial rhetoric.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump says as sympathetic images of undocumented immigrant characters crawling under barbed wire appear. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And it’s gotta stop. And it’s gotta stop fast.”
And the moment Trump finishes that remark, viewers see an image of immigrant getting struck by a bullet and knocked to the ground, then another, while a third person is viewed through a crosshairs. At the end of clip, the phrase “words are dangerous as bullets,” appears in Spanish.
The studio releasing the film in the U.S., STX Entertainment, is not behind the politically-charged trailer. The Mexican distributor who is behind it, Cinepolis, declined to comment on their ad campaign. MSNBC also reached out to the Trump campaign for comment on the footage, but has not heard back at the time of publish.
Using real-life politicians’ words in movie trailers and scenes is not a new trope. Several former presidents were used for comic effect in the 1994 blockbuster “Forrest Gump.” Speeches of former presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton have also been re-purposed in the science fiction films “Contact” and “Alien Nation” respectively. And this year, President Barack Obama’s voice was used to chilling effect in the trailer for the drone thriller “Eye in the Sky,” starring Helen Mirren.
This time, however, the film’s marketers clearly appear to be taking a direct shot at the GOP front-runner. Univision anchor (and perpetual thorn in the side of the Trump campaign) Jorge Ramos hosted the film’s director, Jonas Cuaron, and Bernal this past weekend on his talk show “Al Punto,” and the filmmaker (whose father is Oscar winner Alfonso Cuaron) explained why he decided to utilize Trump’s vocals.
“[S]ince I heard this speech, what worried me the most is that many times … with them being only words, it worries me that people won’t be conscientious of the violence behind those words, that was why two weeks ago I had the idea to illustrate Trump’s words with the violence shown in my movie. Because I think it’s very important to make people aware of what’s in Trump’s speech,” Cuaron told Ramos.
Ever since Trump made the controversial claim that Mexico sends “rapists” to the U.S. he has stuck by that statement.