tv Sino Tv Early Evening News PBS November 19, 2010 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
>> welcome to the "journal." i am brian thomas in berlin. our headlines, nato leaders now about the alliance's future strategy at a summit in lisbon. germany confirms the suspicious device found at a new baby and airport was part of a security test. -- at a namibia airport was part of the security test. an explosion in new zealand.
nato leaders have approved a 10-year strategy aimed at allowing the alliance to operate far beyond europe and counter new threats, such as internet attacks. the last strategic concept dates back to 1999. since then, the alliance has had to deal with new threats, such as terrorism, cyber warfare, and piracy. it spent about eight years fighting in afghanistan and says it will start bringing troops home from afghanistan next year. for the very latest from that summit in lisbon, let's go now to our correspondent simon, standing by for us at the nato gathering. we hear there have been some meetings happening. what are the latest? what are you hearing? >> nato leaders have been meeting this evening. they have agreed the new strategic concept for the next 10 years. here it is, the document just being presented by the nato
secretary-general. he is calling it a concrete action plan for how nato intends to modernize and reform itself to face the new threats of the 21st century. it recommits nato members to article 5, committing to defend each other if any member is attacked. it says there are new threats now, such as global terrorism, that nato has to be ready to deal with. it also needs to keep costs under control. that is a big part of what this is about. governments here are very focused on that. nato secretary general rasmussen said this was about reshaping nato, making it more efficient than it has been before. >> what else will be on the agenda over the next few days? >> the key thing tomorrow, saturday, will be afghanistan.
president karzai will be talking to nato leaders. as you mentioned, nato wants to begin at the beginning of 2011, just next year, to hand over control for security in afghanistan to afghan security forces. that is an ambitious goal. they want to complete the process in four years. it may prove difficult. the taliban might be difficult to flush out in some areas. there are concerns about the readiness of afghan forces. we are seeing a new phase in the war in afghanistan being announced here in lisbon this weekend. >> thank you so very much. simon young there from the nato summit. we will have more on where nato wants to focus its resources coming up later in this half hour. german investigators are working to find out why an american-made security testing device in the form of a fake suitcase bomb was almost put on the plane in
namibia bound for germany. that coincides with a heightened terrorist alert here in the country. air earlier this week, the berlin government warned the public that militants were on their way from afghanistan with the intent of carrying out an attack in germany. authorities have stressed the testing device in namibia never made it onto the plane and contained no explosives. >> the airline flight from namibia with nearly 300 passengers touched down in munich seven hours after its scheduled arrival time. the delay was caused by this suspicious suitcase. federal police traveled to investigate. the interior ministry confirmed the bag contained a dummy devices and not a real bomb. quite the luggage turned out to be a so-called real test suitcase made by a company in the united states. this company is a manufacturer
of alarm and detection systems. these real test suitcases are made for checking security systems. >> investigations are ongoing to establish who placed the suitcase at the airport. the german government says it's tighter security measures will remain in place indefinitely. >> they apply until further notice. the security forces, federal government, and state authorities will discuss what precisely that entails. >> many police officers have been told to cancel their vacation plans for december. >> for more on this story, we spoke with our political correspondent. we ask peter about the test device in namibia and about the threat level the government says germany is facing. >> as regards to the test device in namibia, what we have learned is that it was u.s.- manufactured. the american authorities have let it be known that they have
nothing to do with it ending up in namibia. there has been speculation in germany that it could have been placed there at the airport by african security forces or german security forces. the question begs, why wasn't the german interior minister inform? there is some potential for embarrassment. as regards the ongoing security threats in germany, the authorities believe terrorists, possibly more than one group, have made their way into germany on a land route across the german border. it could include pakistani citizens, indian citizens, or german-bound -- german-born is lobbyists. -- islamists. they're expecting armament possibly from turkey by a landlord. they are believed to be planning attacks on soft targets in germany toward the end of the
month, november. among those soft targets have been mentioned hotels, reminiscent of the mumbai attacks, and also germany posed a christmas market. this has broadened -- this has prompted germany's head of the police service to say "germany is facing its greatest-ever danger of a terrorist attack." >> peter, thank you for that. the pro-democracy leader says she's willing to work with the ruling may -- ruling regime if it would benefit to the burmese people. after being released from house arrest, her comments were the strongest indication yet of her desire to engage with the a junta. the new -- the nobel peace laureate says she would support the new constitution if it served the people. ariana is here with the business. ireland getting ready to make hard decisions. >> they have been resisting this
for a while, but progress is being made. ireland appears to be ready to accept international help. on friday, the prime minister confirmed for the first time that his country was holding talks with eu and international monetary fund officials on an aid package to shore up the country's economy and financial institutions. much of the money is likely to go for up -- helped irish banks remain liquid. customers of allied irish banks have withdrawn 13 billion euros. the international group's will come up with a plan for ireland by the end of next week. the financial world has gathered in frankfurt this week to discuss challenges and pitfalls of the global post-crunch economy. this took place against the backdrop of the most recent debt crisis, reminding policy-makers the storm is not quite over yet. >> a minister with the mission.
in 2013, the eu financial stability measures are due to expire. the german finance minister is pushing for follow-up measures. >> the aim of this mechanism is to reduce to the maximum payable amount the burden of debt of members threatened by a bankruptcy. that is an order to avoid possible repercussions. for that, we need the involvement of financial investors. >> possible repercussions are something the bankers at the frankfurt opera house are not keen to dwell on at the moment. others are also critical of the debate's direction. >> we share the position that in the current environment, a position that gives to the market the idea that some imminent debt restructuring will become productive.
>> what is clear is that binding resolutions are needed to deal with growing debt in europe. >> in the end, it is what is decided by the eurozone. this is the only way for me to avoid catastrophe. >> a new bailout mechanism is needed for 2013. >> in frankfurt, the greek finance minister received applause for his country's austerity efforts. he plans to cut government wages and spending next year. there are ongoing protest. hundreds of municipal workers, including garbage collectors, took to the streets of athens over fears of job losses and wage cut. they plan to continue this over the weekend and will not collect rubbish. trade unions have called for a general strike on december 15. european equity markets were mixed on friday amid ongoing concerns about ireland's debt crisis.
china increased reserve requirements for banks. here is a summary of the trading. >> a quiet ending of a stormy week. shareholders have been reluctant before the weekend tutu measures with chinese banks. -- before the weekend due to measures with chinese banks. the stock market welcomes the strong cost-cutting of via. >> time for a look at some indices on the last day of trading. the dax index closed slightly higher. on wall street, the dow was currently going up. 11,182. the euro is trading for $1.67.
the german auto industry is booming again. they are aiming to surpassed toyota as the world leader in the sector by 2018. it will invest tens of billions of euros into new models and technology. >> this man thinks big. he is a vw boss. he aims to conquer new markets. over the next five years, he plans to invest 51 billion euros. most of it is earmarked already, all with one goal in mind, to be the leading auto maker by 2018. toyota is the current market leader with new vehicle sales of 7.8 million last year. general motors comes in second with sales of 7.3 million.
volkswagen aims to be selling 10 million cars annually within eight years. the ft is firmly on the gas pedal. vw plans to boost production of the a suv. vw will increase production of the off-road or by 1/3, up to 1000 vehicles per day. >> return back to brian. >> the new zealand government is moving into high gear. at least 27 miners are missing after a blast in a coal mine. it is on the country's saw violent. rescue workers say two men managed to flee before the blast and three more escaped after word. >> rescuers worked through the night as more and more equipment was brought to the scene. the rescue efforts are hampered by the possibility of triggering another explosion.
five miners made their way to the surface. the fate of their 27 missing comrades is a mystery. no contract has been made. the successful rescue of miners in chile last month has provided help -- cope. >> we just saw in chile, every single one of them made it. i'm holding on. >> managers said the men were 120 meters below ground when the accident occurred. they were not as deep as the chilean miners. speculation has centered on a power outage and a lack of leaking gas to ignite. rescue teams now have to ensure that the shafts are started. only then can they attempt to reach the trapped miners. >> in germany, the green party is riding high in public opinion polls as delegates gathered a party conference. they are now positioning
themselves for a possible return to national government. the green party was the junior partner in a coalition with the social democrats in 1998 until 2005. >> germany's green party kicked off the conference in high spirits and amid positive popularity ratings. they know all too well that surveys do not guarantee victory at the polls. the leadership is bound to make promises they can keep. >> i don't find it hard to stay grounded. i know the heart and soul of this party. we have remained realistic despite or possibly because of opinion polls. >> hi book is a symbolic city for the party. the mayor is agreeing. the next premier might come from their ranks. the nation wants a court has inched over the 20% mark, double that of just a year ago.
>> we have to put our efforts into a good foundation. try to reap the rewards of these positive opinion poll surveys. >> that is premature. later, during the election campaign, we will have to make it clear that grain policies foresee budget cutbacks. >> the first day of the conference focused on renewable energy. other issues such as social welfare and taxes could prove controversial, and are bound to test party unity. >> pope benedict has prepared a state germany visit next year. it is expected in september. the announcement comes as the pope begins a rare meeting with more than 100 cardinals from all over the world. the talks will focus on making the traditional latin mass available to more people and the move to evangelize non-catholics
>> welcome back. leaders at the nato summit now under way in lisbon have approved a new strategy to replace the current strategic concept that dates back to 1999. alliance officials are calling on the u.s. and europe to maintain high levels of defense spending, even though millions of citizens are increasingly questioning military budgets at a time of deep austerity cuts, especially in pensions, education, health care. among the issues discussed, the ongoing possibility of random terrorist attacks, the war in afghanistan, and the new era of cooperation with russia. >> new enemies along with new
threats and a new kind of conflict mean that nato needs to change. the alliance is looking to join forces that can deploy more quickly. nato members have been studying the lessons of afghanistan. they are aware that in the future, they will have to send troops on missions well outside the geographical area of alliance countries. instead of traditional weapons, new strategies are needed. >> we are talking about fewer dragons and more snakes. the dragon can be seen as the conventional, visible method of conducting war. the snake as a way of achieving the same goals by unconventional means. >> nato is looking to work more closely with civilian organizations. it hopes this will help to better deal with crises or avoid them altogether. on top of that, nato wants a strategic partnership with its old cold war enemy, russia.
the two could work together to fight piracy on the seas or stanch the flow of dangerous weapons around the world. >> what nato has to try to pull off this the fine balancing act between being inclusive and saying what we want on the one hand, while at the same time not allowing the russians to push through what suits them. >> moscow has signed a disarmament treaty with the u.s. nato want to pay -- wants to turn a page in its relationship with russia. the alliance would like to win over russia for one of its major projects, a missile defense shield to defend against common threats. ute -- the u.s. has scrapped plans for a shield of its own. ideally, russia would be included in the system that would be built up over the next decade. >> we need such a system because
some of the state that already have nuclear weapons or are on their way to getting them have a world view that makes them a threat to us. i am talking about iran and north korea. >> regardless of what direction it takes, members of the alliance are still obliged to stand by each other if attacked. that is the foundation of the north atlantic alliance. >> for some analysis, let's go now to my colleague simon young, standing by in lisbon. this is being billed as the most crucial in neto -- nato history. that sounds like a bit of hyperbole. is it? >> the secretary general of nato has been calling this a historic moment. he is talking specifically about reforms to the way that nato works, making it more efficient to deal with 21st century threats, but also, he is talking
about town nato works together with other international partners around the world. to pick one thing out, he is stressing that nato has to strengthen its dialogue with international partners, reflecting the fact that nato has become much more than a military alliance in recent years. it is very much a diplomatic alliance as well these days. it also reflects the fact that nato operates well outside the territory of the member countries these days. another thing to pick out, of course, is ambitious plans to pull out or began the end of the war in afghanistan. that is something i think people in the future will look back to this lisbon summit and say that that was a significant change. >> there is some movement on afghanistan, isn't there? we could see a pullout as early as next year. >> yes.
we have to be clear. it is not pulling out troops next year. what will happen next year is the responsibility for security control will be transferred from the international forces in afghanistan more and more, province by province, to the afghan security forces. this will happen as the security situation on the ground allows. there has been a lot of talk about the deadline of 2014. that is when president karzai wants to have a full afghan control of the security situation in his country. that is one the nato partners are agreeing to. they say that is not set in stone. the taliban may prove difficult to move from some areas. there are concerns about the readiness of afghan forces to deal with those threats. what is being said here is we must change the narrative. we must begin to transfer control. that also allows the leaders of
western countries with troops in afghanistan to start telling their electorates' that, ultimately, the boys are coming home. we have a vision of the road map of the end of the war. >> another narrative is changing. russia was kept outside. now embraces being called for. what is happening? >> the old cold war enemy is becoming a strategic partner. we are seeing that here with agreements from russia to assist in the war in afghanistan by allowing supply routes to go through its territory. they are also going to be providing helicopters, we hope, for the effort. a whole new sense of cooperation also on missile defense. >> simon in lisbon, thank you so very much. cyber warfare poses the threat of shutting down a nation's entire defense capabilities. china is investing heavily in
this area and nato want to keep pace. take the computer virus. the warm was made to target equipment used in uranium enrichment, deepening suspicions the aim is to sabotage tehran's nuclear arms program. >> it was in iran that it at first. in the middle of this year, the worm infected computer systems in the nuclear plants. it was a specially written to infect industrial control systems. the virus spread to computers across the globe. experts began to talk of the first strike in the new digital age. some call that a prototype cyber weapon. power and communications networks and financial centers need protection from cyber attacks. the internet has made events economy is particularly vulnerable. -- advanced economies
particularly vulnerable. there are simulated attacks from cyberspace. the worm is still something of a mystery. >> we can set speculation aside for a moment. going by what we know about the money and resources needed to carry this out, we are not dealing with household criminals, like in the past. rather, we must be looking at organized groups. >> if they are groups, then on whose orders were they working? some speculation. to a state-backed intelligence service that wanted to stop iran pose a nuclear operations. israel could be one such factor, but there's no evidence to back such a claim. this kind of attack for its traditional military logic out the window. -- kind of attack throws traditional military logic out the window. >> you cannot retaliate. you cannot deter through punishment. >> for that reason, nato has
>> hinojosa: with his hit film the motorcycle diaries, he took us on che guevara's epic road trip across south america. since then, he's continued to take us on unexpected journeys on the big screen and on the stage-- playwright and academy award nominated screenwriter jose rivera. i'm maria hinojosa, this is one on one. jose rivera, you are an award-winning playwright, but people probably know you most
because of the fact that you're the screenwriter for the motorcycle diaries, and let's, yes, say you were nominated for an oscar for that. pretty extraordinary. but when you think about the fact that you took on writing about che guevara for your first screenplay that was made into a movie... >> mm-hmm? >> hinojosa: ...people were like, "che guevara?" >> i know. >> hinojosa: "i'm not going to touch it." >> i know, it's huge. it's huge. >> hinojosa: huge. >> yeah. i mean, part of the process that i went through writing it was to put the legend aside, you know? you know, because obviously, i wasn't there when he took that trip, and i had to find a way into the film. like, what is it that i will contribute to this movie? and you know, through discussions with the director, we decided, you know, this should be a coming of age story. it's a young man who comes from a sheltered, middle-class home, who discovers because of the beauty of the road, he discovers the inner political animal that he had. and that's... you know, i did that, and everyone does that at
one point in their lives. >> hinojosa: in fact, i wrote down, i said, you know, you actually... for anyone who comes into the motorcycle diaries thinking that they're going to see che guevara-- the one that they know from the posters and the t-shirts and the coffee cups and all that kind of stuff-- actually, you've destroyed that image... >> yeah... >> hinojosa: ...in the sense that there's just no visual connection, really. >> right, yeah. >> hinojosa: it's gael garcía bernal, amazing mexican actor... >> yeah. we effectively avoided things that would link that che to the later che. for instance, in the diary, there's a scene where he's on the amazon, he gets an asthma attack, and there's a doctor on board, and the doctor rushes up to him with a cigar and says, "take this, it will help your asthma." we didn't use that scene in the film... >> hinojosa: oh, my god, because it was a cigar. >> ...it would look like that iconic image, so we didn't want... we purposely avoided anything that referenced the future, because obviously, he >> hinojosa: so you spent nine months thinking about the motorcycle diaries... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...before you even
wrote it. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: but you actually didn't do the road trip that che guevara did, and when you told me that, i was like, "how could you... you're an amazing writer! how could you write that without having taken that road trip?" >> yeah. a lot... i mean, it takes a lot of other kinds of research, but yeah, i mean, i tried to imagine it for the most part, and his own writing is so vivid, you know? his writing is so beautiful that he puts you in that world. >> hinojosa: because he's a poet. >> he is a poet, yeah. >> hinojosa: and he kept a diary while he was on this trip... >> yes, absolutely. and his friend, granado, he took that trip obviously, and he kept his own diary. so we had both sources to work from. >> hinojosa: and this trip really, perhaps more than anything in che guevara's life, was what formed him as a rev... i mean, do you think that this is what formed him as a revolutionary? >> i would say it was the beginning. his later trip really formed him, because his later trip, you know, he was in guatemala during... right after the coup; he ended up in mexico; he met his first wife, who was a marxist; he met fidel; he met
raul; and that was the trip really changed him. this trip, the first one, was really the opening of a door, but he didn't pass through that door until the later trip. >> hinojosa: and there's a moment in the film which is kind of the crystallizing moment; the moment at the-- and i feel like i shouldn't even say the "leper colony," because that's a word... >> it's derogatory. >> hinojosa: ...right, a word of disrespect. the colony where people who have leprosy live... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...and che-- ernesto... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...swims across the river... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...separating those who have leprosy those who don't have leprosy, and he gives a speech on that night. >> a beautiful speech, yeah. >> hinojosa: do you... when you were writing, when you were processing all the information from che, did you see that as the central, kind of, moment? >> well, you know, yeah. in my discussions with the director, walter salles, the great brazilian director... >> hinojosa: amazing director. >> wonderful, and a great colleague... >> hinojosa: and did he call you? did he say...
>> well, we... yeah. we met on a blind date, essentially. >> hinojosa: no! >> our agents set it up, and we met for lunch and we hit it off, and you know, he was every bit as wonderful as his film central station, so i knew i wanted to collaborate with him, but you know, when we talked about it, we wanted to find out what is the climax of our story, just on very basic, you know, screenwriting 101, you know, what is the climax? and we both decided that was the climax-- when he made the decision to swim from the "healthy side" to the other side, and... >> hinojosa: to cross the border, essentially. >> to cross the border. to cross an internal border, cross, you know, all kinds of psychological borders, and in the diary itself, he mentions it in two sentences-- it's not even a big deal. >> hinojosa: two sentences? >> and we made it, obviously, the central piece of the film. >> hinojosa: so you wrote the screenplay... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...and then you give the screenplay to a director. you are a director, yourself. you've directed film, you're a playwright, and you direct plays. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: what's it like to write something like this and then give it to a director?
>> it's, you know, it's easy in walter's case, because you know he's going to do a beautiful job. it's not always so easy. you know, it's funny-- the thing i learned from having the motorcycle diaries produced is that you can be the writer of a film but not its author; that the filmmaker is the ultimate author of a film. >> hinojosa: but is that hard for you to kind of... >> it's so hard. coming from the theater and being the author of every, single word, and... it's humiliating, in fact. obviously, though, it's humbling. >> hinojosa: so what do you do? i mean, do you stay out of the... you were involved, right? there was a lot of dialogue being worked out? you were involved? >> yes. that process... i mean, walter's unique because he's tremendously collaborative, so you know, i was invited to the rehearsals, i was invited to the auditions, i was asked to be on the set. and that's not typical for a screenwriting experience, so in that way, it's a lot more like theater, you know, the way i worked with walter. and i knew from having seen central station that he will do a beautiful, magnificent job. >> hinojosa: and it's a beautiful film. i mean, actually, one of the questions that i have-- and i've watched it several times, and i'm like, "are they all actors?"
>> mm-hmm. yeah, not all of them, you know? some of them, walter... the thing about... well see, because his background is documentaries, he likes "accidents" on the road. he likes to find that things were not planned. >> hinojosa: so he might have found people... >> oh, he definitely found people. >> hinojosa: because there are some... >> a little boy... >> hinojosa: yeah! >> ...you know, that guides them... >> hinojosa: let's clue our audience in, for those who haven't seen. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: so essentially, you've got a young che guevara and his best friend, granados, and they're in peru now... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...and just seeing peru visually on a screen like that... >> yes, beautiful. >> hinojosa: ...you had said you hope it inspires people to travel down there. >> yes. >> hinojosa: but then all of a sudden, you start seeing these people who are so authentic. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: they are indigenous people. they are living in cusco, peru at this time. they're miners. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: so some of these people were, in fact... >> some, yes. yeah, the indigenous women that they meet in the plaza, and they're sitting around talking, and... >> hinojosa: and how did they do that? like, did they say, "he"... >> they improvised it.
they improvised it. walter had his camera, the actors were excited to do it, they just sat down with the women... >> hinojosa: but did they say to the women, "he's playing the role of che guevara"? >> yeah. yeah, it was all explained that, you know, "this is a film, and... but just be yourself, talk about whatever you want, and let the conversation develop organically," and that's exactly what they did, and there were several key moments in the film where walter did that. >> hinojosa: so you spent some time in the learning craft of screenwriting and playwriting. you spent some time with gabriel garcía márquez... >> i did, yes. very lucky. >> hinojosa: wow! >> yeah, that was in 1989. he was allowed to visit the united states. you know, he wasn't... he was banned for a long time. he got a three-week visa to go to the sundance institute, and so he taught a three-week writing workshop with about a dozen writers from the states, so i did get to know him. >> hinojosa: that's pretty special. >> yeah, it was. it was a turning point, you know? because he's... >> hinojosa: because... >> well, he's such a hero of mine, and i had, you know, as a playwright, i'd grown up in the
tradition of realism-- tennessee williams, eugene o'neill, henrick ibsen, you know? and then here comes márquez with this entirely new way to tell story, and it hadn't been done in the theater very much. and so i... one of the things i wanted to do as a playwright was explore that form in the theater where it didn't exist. and so meeting him and working with him was, you know, one of the... revolutionary. >> hinojosa: so what's the greatest secret that you learned from gabriel garcía márquez that you can share with us? >> well, i'll tell you the irony. he would say... if he were here today, he would say, "keep it real." >> hinojosa: authentic. >> "keep it real." grounded... every bit of "magic" in his books is psychologically grounded. if you look at them all, everything is tied to the emotions of the characters. the example i always give when i talk to students is the storm scene in king lear. shakespeare writes a storm because lear is having his internal storm-- he's going mad-- and so shakespeare gives us the storm in the world.
when "magic" is used in this world, you know, it's a reflection of the psychological truth of the characters. >> hinojosa: do you feel that after spending time with gabriel garcía márquez, that suddenly, you would look around... did it make you start seeing the magical realism that we live with here in this country? >> absolutely, yeah, because when you really look around, you'll see it everywhere. >> hinojosa: it's true, right? >> you know, you see juxtapositions, you see dream-like moments, you see things you never expect. you know, i was walking through new york once, and there was a man selling whips on the street corner to the commuters. you know, things like that happen all the time, and if you're... you just have to be alert, you know? i tell my students at times, you know, "be alert," you know, "really see the world." >> hinojosa: so as a writer... and we were talking before we came on set about the fact that you grew up in long island. you were born in puerto rico, grew up in long island. you've been in l.a., hollywood, for... >> since 1990. >> hinojosa: so quite a bit of time. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: and how it is that
you're able to kind of stay true to your artistic self when you are in the midst of hollywood, you're trying to survive, you have kids, you have to pay the bills. how do you do that? >> yeah, it's not easy. it's a lot of stubbornness goes into, you know, trying to keep your vision. and you know, part of it is having kids keep you grounded. you know, my children keep me real, as they say. >> hinojosa: yeah, but at the same time, you've got the pressure, i'm sure, that hollywood... once motorcycle diaries came out, you were nominated for an oscar. you're the first puerto rican to be nominated for an oscar as a screenwriter. i mean, did the calls just suddenly start... >> they did, yeah. >> hinojosa: they did. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> hinojosa: so it really does happen? >> oh, yes. >> hinojosa: like, the next day? >> oh, yes, it was madness. actually, in a way it started a little bit before. it started after sundance. it was such a success at sundance. >> hinojosa: and i was at sundance that year. >> really? did you go? >> hinojosa: i couldn't... are you kidding? i was reporting at that time for cnn, so i was live all the time, but i actually had heard about the film-- it was the big buzz.
you know, and people think that somehow, this is all very easy, but at sundance, you guys were kind of hanging by pins and needles. >> oh, yeah. >> hinojosa: you didn't know. >> we didn't know what was going to happen, uh-uh. >> hinojosa: your film could have been rejected and... >> yeah. >> hinojosa: ...quashed, and... >> exactly. no, but it sold that night, you know, to focus, and yeah, the calls came in. you know, i did a job for dreamworks right afterwards. i did a job for sony for alicia keys, you know, so... >> hinojosa: and when you say you "did a job," what does that mean? >> it means that, you know, these... for instance, sony and dreamworks had books that they want to turn into films, so they needed someone to adapt them. >> hinojosa: oh! >> and because i had adapted a book, they figure, "well, he's good at that," and so they called me to do those jobs. >> hinojosa: and so how long does it take to adapt a book to a screenplay? >> yeah, it depends, you know? some books are easier than others. i had been adapting on the road, the kerouac novel classic. and i think i've been working on that for about three years now, you know? some things are harder. the... i did the brief, wondrous
life of oscar wao, which... >> hinojosa: which is another.... just because you said it kind of quickly and people are like... the brief, wonderful life of oscar wao from the pulitzer prize-winning author junot díaz... >> right. >> hinojosa: ...about the dominican reality-- dominican republic, immigrants... >> right. >> hinojosa: hugely popular book. people love that book. i don't know, but when somebody gives you a book like that and says, "make this into a movie," i mean, i would be like... >> yeah. it's... you know, it's become my craft. you know, it's the thing that i've learned to do. i try to do it as well as i can, and it's fun. it's like a big puzzle, you know? it's trying to decide what is cinematic in a novel, and enhancing that and bringing that out is the big trick. >> hinojosa: do you find yourself... i mean, how do you get to that place where you learn to trust, "okay, this is the voice, this is the centerpiece, this is the through-line"? >> yeah, it takes doing, you know?
i mean, you ask yourself basic questions: who is this about, what do they want, and what's standing in their way? and when you answer those three questions, you pretty much cover a lot of what a movie is. and you ask yourself... >> hinojosa: hmm. just those three questions. >> just... yeah. >> hinojosa: you make it sound so simple! >> what is a movie? you know, you look at casablanca, you know? who is it about? it's about rick. what does he want? he's in love with the girl. what's in his way? the nazis, you know? and it sounds very elementary, but if you can solve those problems in a book, you're well on your way to being able to make it into a film. >> hinojosa: a lot of people are enthralled with the creative process, and you've talked a lot about this-- the creative process, the fact that you spend a lot of time thinking, researching, and then sometimes you can sit down, like in motorcycle diaries, and you wrote it in three weeks. >> mm-hmm, right. >> hinojosa: that's pretty extraordinary. >> yeah, i think that it was the months of research beforehand, and... >> hinojosa: are you taking notes? >> taking notes, making mental notes, listening to music. i mean, i was immersed. you can ask my kids-- they were going crazy!
>> hinojosa: ( laughing ) what would... what would happen with your kids? >> they were just like, "dad, are you still listening to the che music?" and all of that stuff. >> hinojosa: what were you listening to? >> well, there's a lot of music about him, you know? he's a central character in a lot of folk songs, and i was listening to those, i was listening to music from obviously golba and argentina, so i was really sort of trying to get my head into that space. and you know, i often think of writing as a form of self-hypnosis, you know? you almost go into a trance, and as it were... when you're really, you know, working really well. >> hinojosa: that's hard for kids. >> yeah, yeah, it's hard, but it's doable. hinojosa: why do you think... i mean, now, again, every country that i've been to around the world-- most recently, bangladesh-- somebody wearing a che t-shirt. >> oh, yeah. >> hinojosa: what is it about che? i mean, you spent time with the young che. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: what do you think about the fact that so many people... and actually, do you think that people now actually know what che really stands for? >> stood for, yeah. i don't believe they do. i mean, when i see the t-shirt,
i almost immediately think it's a fashion idea as opposed to a political idea. you know, i mean, he... you know, it's... he stood up to the united states, basically, as a latin american man, saying, you know, "latin america-- chile-- should run the mines in chile." you know, "in argentina they should be run by the argentines," you know, that's what he said. he said, "hands off our country. hands off our resources and our land," to the united states. not a very popular message, and i think around the world that message still resonates, because obviously, we're still everywhere in this country. so i think that that is that sense of resistance, you know? and he took things too far. i mean, he said, "i would love to create 100 vietnams." you know, that's... that's not cool, you know? but that's the man; that's what he stood for, and i don't think people really understand this. >> hinojosa: also, one of the things i loved in the film is that he's human... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: ...and he's a humanist... >> mm-hmm.
>> hinojosa: we see that part of him. you know, we oftentimes reduce these people to, "he's a hardened terrorist." >> right. >> hinojosa: but he was, in a lot of ways, very much a humanist. >> yeah. >> hinojosa: right? >> well, yeah. i mean, one of his best-known quotes is that, you know, "a true revolutionary is guided by feelings of love." >> hinojosa: yeah, i had forgotten that quote until just now. >> it would have to, yeah. >> hinojosa: wow, that's a beautiful quote. >> you know, if you're fighting for la gente, if you're fighting for rights, if you're fighting for land and redistribution of wealth, you are fighting for, you know, the affection to the people. and i think... and they... you know, a lot of people are very cynical about che, but i do believe from all the research i've done that he sincerely believes that. he was an idealist to the end and was willing to die for it and did die for it at a very young age. he was 39 when he was killed. so you know, i take him at his word, and i do believe that's what he stood for. his means may not have been my means, you know? there's that iconic moment in his later life when, you know, he was in battle and he had the choice between picking up the ammunition and picking up the
medicine-- he picked up the ammunition, because he decided, "i'm a warrior from this point on." you know, i might have not made that choice, but he did and you know, and now history will tell us. >> hinojosa: so you're growing up on long island in the 19... >> 1960s-1970s. >> hinojosa: 1960s, okay. and you didn't have a lot of means at that time. your dad was a cab driver. >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: and you didn't have television, but that meant that you spent a lot of time with your extended family from puerto rico being new migrants to long island, new york, and there was a tremendous amount of family time that was spent around the kitchen table telling stories? >> yes, when we... when my grandparents came to stay with us. and there was that one year when our... this is one... i kid and say sometimes there are good things about being poor-- when our tv broke down, we couldn't fix it, so there was about a year or so when we had no television, and that's what we'd do is sat around and talked. and you know, my mom is a brilliant storyteller-- probably
the best i've ever met. >> hinojosa: an actress, as well? >> my mom? oh, no, no, no. >> hinojosa: but you know... but in the sense that, i mean, isn't storytelling part of, you know, recre... >> yes, there is definitely performance to it, yeah. and she can tell her stories and entertain people for hours and hours. >> hinojosa: so when you talk to a young... let's say young latinos, and they're thinking, "i don't got nothing here," you're saying to them, "if you just think about the stories of your own lives, maybe it's there"? >> mm-hmm, yeah, yeah. absolutely, i mean, everybody has, you know, a trilogy of novels in their life. i mean, everyone's gotten deep and amazing stories. you know, the trick is to access them, to find them and be able to bring them out. you know, i mean, one of the things that i do often is that i go to schools, you know, and i try to meet young latino writers and actors and say, "look, it's doable; it can happen," you know? >> hinojosa: it's hard. >> it's hard and there are a lot of obstacles, but like anything worthwhile in life, you know, you're going to have to fight
for it. so you know, but it's worth it. you know, i've been so many places, i've traveled so many great destinations and met such amazing people because of the arts, you know, and because of film, and i wouldn't trade this life for anything. >> hinojosa: you made a movie that i happened to think was really extraordinary. it may have had a few faults here and there, but i thought that the movie trade was amazing. it's a movie that deals with the drama of human trafficking in a way that has made it... that made it so real. >> hmm. >> hinojosa: what made you... i mean, how did that one come about? because that issue... >> yeah. >> hinojosa: ...is such a secret issue, so undercover, even as a journalist i'm afraid to try to go into the topic of human trafficking. >> yeah. it... and i knew very little before going into the process. i mean, yeah, there was a very well-known film director, roland emmerich, was funding films that were smaller, more issue-oriented than his normal
work, and this was a film he wanted to really, seriously wanted to do about, you know,er. and i was just right after the successes of the motorcycle diaries asked to write this film. and you know, i went to mexico to do research and talked to girls, and... >> hinojosa: you met some young girls who had been trafficked as sex slaves in mexico. >> yeah. some... i mean, there was a 12 year old girl... >> hinojosa: oh, my god. >> ...who had done it since the age of nine. >> hinojosa: and she had been kidnapped... >> she had been sold. >> hinojosa: sold. >> from... by family. >> hinojosa: there are some scenes in the movie trade that i don't know that i will soon forget, even though i'd like to forget them, because you know, you just revealed what's happening with these young women and how they're treated like meat. >> mm-hmm, yeah. >> hinojosa: i mean, literally, they're auctioned off and... and these are young girls who have normal lives, and suddenly they're... what? is it that they're kidnapped? they're tricked into it?
>> sometimes, yeah. sometimes it's kidnapping, sometimes they're sold by their family, sometimes they're orphans or they're discarded, you know? they're taken by force, they're drugged so they can't run away. one of the reasons it's international is that they'll take girls from thailand and they'll go to egypt or they'll go... they'll go to places where they can't speak the language, and that's part of the technique of controlling them, you know? so even if they run away, they're in a culture they have no connection to. >> hinojosa: and then no one believes them is the other thing that comes up in the movie trade... >> it's horrible. >> hinojosa: ...is that these people want help, and they're saying, "i've been kidnapped," and the officials are like, "hmm." >> yeah. >> hinojosa: let's talk for the last few minutes about what it is like now to be a latino in hollywood... >> mm-hmm. >> hinojosa: you know, you... it's not like you came to hollywood saying, "i'm a latino screenwriter/playwright," you know, but how is it... does it... for you now? is it difficult? is it more open? is there a continuing stereotype? >> well, it is... i mean, i've been there now, as you know,
since 1990, and it has gotten better. it was not so good for a long time. i think the last few years with the success of y tu mamá también and these great mexican directors-- you know, cuarón and all those great guys-- i think it's helped a great deal, and i think the prospect of movies in spanish, for instance, is much more accepted now than ever. so you know, it's never been easy, it never will be easy, but it is easier than it used to be. >> hinojosa: and for example, when you wrote motorcycle diaries, were you thinking about writing that for an american audience? >> well, you know, the early on the decision was made to have the film be presented in spanish, so we were, you know-- at least i was-- thinking internationally. i mean, i had no idea how it would do in the states, but my feeling was, you know, che was an international figure, and that this film would hopefully be seen everywhere around the world, and it has been. >> hinojosa: so when you find these young latinos who want to write plays-- which is your
first love and what you'd love to be doing if you could only make enough money to survive doing that-- but what do you say to them about tapping into that central voice of theirs so that they can, in fact, become a budding screenwriter or a budding playwright? >> well, that's the hardest thing, you know? many writers-- young writers-- they go through a phase where they imitate their heroes. "i want to be like sam shepard," or "i want to be like"... >> hinojosa: "i want to be like jose rivera!" >> ( laughing ) "i want to be like lorca," you know? that's what they do, and then... but the process has to... something has to happen in that process where you destroy your hero-- you have to kill your hero in order to find your voice, and that's the hardest part. but i tell young writers, "your voice is there," you know, "you think with it every, single day. you dream with it every, single night, and what you have to learn to do is listen to your voice and stop listening to the voices of your heroes who you want to copy." because eventually, you can't go anywhere with that. you know, it's a good way to learn your craft, but when you're really finding that
authentic self and bringing it out, that's when you become a writer. >> hinojosa: so what's next for you, jose rivera, in the scheme of things? >> i'm doing another film with walter salles. you know, a film for... called american rust, based on a new novel, and i'm writing a novel myself-- i'm writing my first novel. >> hinojosa: wow! congratulations! >> so yeah, i've been at it for four years now. it's getting close to being finished. >> hinojosa: great. >> yeah, so not bad. >> hinojosa: thank you so much for all of the work that you do, jose rivera, and for opening up our minds and our eyes to the world through your eyes. we really appreciate it. >> well, thank you so much. >> hinojosa: and thanks for being with us. >> it's been a pleasure. continue the conversation at wgbh.org/oneonone. captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org