“I won’t subtitle it on ‘West Side Story’ out of respect”

The new version of West Side Story will feature dialogue in Spanish without subtitles. This has been assured by Steven Spielberg himself, who has explained that it is a decision he has made out of “respect” for the reality of the Latino community in the United States.

“I did not subtitle the dialogues in Spanish as a matter of respect and to recognize a context in which both languages ​​are spoken,” the filmmaker detailed at a press conference held this Tuesday after the premiere of the film held in New York.

I did not subtitle the dialogues in Spanish to recognize a context in which both languages ​​are spoken”



steven spielbergFilmmaker

The new film adaptation opens next week in the United States and, although its script is in English, it contains some dialogue in Spanish that does not appear subtitled on screen, to the surprise of the public that has been able to see the film in advance.

“I want English-speaking and Spanish-speaking spectators to congregate in the room and during the screening to hear the laughter of groups that understand certain things in Spanish,” the director justified.

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West Side Story Premiere

Jamie McCarthy / AFP

The screenwriter of the new film, Tony Kushner, added that when he set out to write the text he understood that “there were certain themes and feelings that a Spanish speaker would express in Spanish and not in English.”

Something in which the actress Rita Moreno agreed, one of the few Latin actresses who is part of the cast of the 1961 film and who, after winning an Oscar for her performance as Anita, returns to the new version with a role created specifically for her. “It’s much more political,” he said of Spielberg’s adaptation.


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The 1961 film garnered a total of ten Oscars, including best picture. Thus, the expectation in Hollywood for the return of one of the great Broadway musicals to the big screen is huge.

Her trailer was presented during the broadcast of the last Oscars and she is already running as one of the candidates to take into account for the Academy Awards in 2022. This time, unlike in the first feature film, in the cast there are many actors of Latino or Puerto Rican descent who play the Hispanic characters.

I want the laughter of groups that understand certain things in Spanish to be heard during the projection



steven spielbergFilmmaker

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