Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna are joining forces to produce ASCO: Without Permission, a documentary on the provocative East Los Angeles-based Chicano artist collective.
Active between 1972 to 1987, ASCO, which is a term in Spanish used to express disgust, gave members a platform to use their art to express their thoughts on socioeconomic and political problems in America’s Chicano community, including issues on racism, poverty, and the Vietnam War.
“Where would we be without the pioneers that irrupt on a scene unsolicited, out of passion and courage?” García Bernal asked during an interview with Variety. “ASCO represents a unique moment for the Latino culture. They made themselves heard and that is why today we are a voice in the U.S. It’s imperative to have this documentary as a piece of our history.”
Luna added, “Since I learned about them, ASCO came off as a collective that amused and defied themselves at the same time. This portrait shares the same spirit. It’s the natural succession of their artwork and their message.”
García Bernal and Luna first worked together on director Alfonso Cuaron’s 2001 film Y Tu Mamá También. Since then, they have collaborated on several projects over the years, including filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga’s 2009 drama-thriller Sin Nombre and Luna’s 2014 biopic César Chávez, among many others.
Along with Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna’s production company La Corriente del Golfo, others behind ASCO: Without Permission include producers from Asa Nisi Masa Films, North of Now, and Exile Content, and director Travis Gutiérrez Senger (Desert Cathedral).
“ASCO’s story is truly inspiring and gives us new ways to think about creativity and social change,” said Gutiérrez Senger. “The next generation of artists featured in the film are in many ways carrying this tradition and we’re excited to be collaborating with them as well as telling ASCO’s incredible story.”