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Silver Bear for Best Screenplay - Museo
by Rose Finlay

Alonso Ruizpalacios, Mexico

Juan (Gael García Bernal) and Wilson (Leonardo Ortizgris) are two veterinarian school dropouts who decide to rob the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. We don’t really know the reason for this wildly ridiculous scheme. Maybe it has to do with Juan’s deep seated rejection of the cultural dominance of the museum taking ancient, native religious pieces (something described in depth in the first ten minutes of the film, and then barely mentioned thereafter), or maybe they are just two naïve and greedy men. Despite neither man being a criminal mastermind, they somehow pull the scheme off and soon find themselves marked by the public as criminals who have attacked the state. They then embark on a road trip through Mexico in a desperate attempt to get rid of the goods which may be more trouble than they’re worth.

There are films which highlight the technical prowess of filmmakers and the magic of the art form, there are others which bring to light fascinating or underserved topics and reveal deep truths, and then there are those which are merely mild, entertaining jaunts. Museo is one of the latter. Based (extremely) loosely on a true robbery in 1985, the only real excitement is during the heist. When it morphs into a road trip film, it begins to drag because it becomes ever clearer that the two main characters are idiots and there are no positive or interesting outcomes likely to happen. Considering its general blandness and predictability, it is disappointing that the international jury chose to give the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay to this film, particularly considering the strength of other contenders such as Isle of Dogs.