Alejandro González Iñárritu says his movie 'The Revenant' is about a "clash of two cultures".
The 52-year-old Mexican director wanted to tell a story of the suffering that America endured when Europeans colonised the land in the 16th century and the conflict that ensued with the indigenous people.
'The Revenant' is set in 1823 in Montana and South Dakota, and focuses on the battle for survival of frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass - played by Leonardo DiCaprio - and in the movie he is attacked by a Native American tribe and later helped by a tribesman.
Speaking on the red carpet of the film's European premiere in London's Leicester Square on Thursday night (14.01.16), Alejandro was asked why he made the film, to which he offered the answer: "It was such a complicated time and many of those themes in a way still are reflected in our society so it is such a fascinating story. There was a lot of misunderstandings, it was a clash of two cultures of people who armed themselves in inhospitable environments. And how the Native Americans were impacted by the arrival of western society and how nature suffered, the animals. And how everybody was surviving."
The cast endured extreme conditions for many months filming on location in sub-zero temperatures both in Russia and in the US.
And Alejandro felt it was important to put DiCaprio and his co-stars such as Tom Hardy through the tough experience because 'The Revenant' is a story about "endurance".
He explained: "I think the question is how and why these guys survive and it's a story about endurance and what makes human beings keep going in such very tough circumstances."