Steven Spielberg clarifies that he did not want subtitles for the dialogues in Spanish “out of respect” and why he directed the remake

Christmas is approaching and, if the fight against the pandemic allows it, there are several films prepared to sweep the box office. One of them is the remake of ‘West Side Story’ directed by Steven spielberg. On November 29, the premiere of the musical (released in theaters on December 10 in the US and on December 22 in Spain) and there was a detail that caught the attention of the public: no English subtitles for Spanish spoken dialogue.

With ‘West Side Story’, Spielberg keeps a promise he made to himself

After knowing the first reactions, Spielberg wanted to clarify that it was his decision not to subtitle those excerpts and he did so with the Latino community in his country in mind. “For a matter of respect and by recognizing a context in which both languages ​​are spoken“, according to the statements published by the EFE Agency.”I want the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking spectators to congregate in the room and for the laughter of groups that understand certain things in Spanish to be heard during the screening“explained the director.

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For its part, Tony kushner, writer of this modern version of the classic, added that when working on the dialogues of ‘West Side Story’ he realized that “there were certain themes and feelings that a Spanish speaker would express in Spanish and not in English“. This is absolutely logical and contributes realism to the movie; It always looks bad when a dialogue in English is forced between foreign characters who share nationality in a United States production. However, I can’t quite understand Spielberg’s argument …

Including Latino actors in the casting and giving them the opportunity to communicate in their mother tongue, I think it portrays the reality of those characters. Not subtitling the words in Spanish for the public that does not understand it makes access to the film unnecessarily difficult, in my opinion. It is as if the dialogues in English are left as is. In real life there are no subtitles? We are talking about a movie. Nor are we singing and dancing in the street. In any case, the important thing is that the movie is really liking and receiving high praise.

On the other hand, Steven Spielberg has revealed the reason you wanted to direct this new version from ‘West Side Story’, made into the first musical of his successful career. The filmmaker states that he felt “challenged on what would be the right musical for me. And I will never forget my childhood. I was 10 when I first heard the West Side Story album, and it’s never gone away. I have been able to fulfill that dream and keep the promise I made to myself: you have to do West Side Story“.

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