No mother wants to hear her son say he's gay. Those two words rip the picture of a daughter-in-law and grandchildren into pieces. I felt sorry for my mom and wanted her to know everything was going to be all right. But then she said, 'I don't really care, Johnny, as long as I know that you are going to be happy.'
Two words guided the making of 'Babel' for me: 'dignity' and 'compassion.' These things are normally forgotten in the making of a lot of films. Normally there is not dignity because the poor and dispossessed in a place like Morocco are portrayed as mere victims, or the Japanese are portrayed as cartoon figures with no humanity.