Cuarón, who also picked up the awards for best foreign film and best cinematography on Sunday, previously won best director for “Gravity” in 2014.
That the Academy has declared three Mexican directors among the most influential voices of American cinema five out of the last six years is no small statement in a time when much of the political discussion revolves around constructing a wall between these two countries.
Cuarón’s acceptance speech for best foreign film, inadvertently or not, also served as a strong reminder of the role of cinema overseas, where American films are considered the foreign ones.
“I grew up watching foreign language films and learning so much from them and being inspired — films like ‘Citizen Kane,’ ‘Jaws,’ ‘Rashomon,’ ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Breathless…’ Claude Chabrol said, ‘There are no waves, there’s only the ocean,'” Cuarón said, referencing the French filmmaker. “I think that the nominees tonight have proven that we are part of the same ocean.”