Juan Antonio Bayona and Sergio G. Sanchez had worked together on “The Orphanage,” a twisted coming-of-age tale that put both of them on the international filmmaking stage. Their second collaboration, “The Impossible,” which opens next week, proved to be an even greater challenge: take audiences through one family’s harrowing experience in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami while maintaining a huge level of respect for those people who didn’t survive.
“The story had to be about loss,” said Sanchez during The Envelope Screening Series. “We tried to focus on each one of [the family's] characters and how they faced loss.”
The filmmaking duo also spent a great deal of time using the family as a symbol of the greater struggle. And because of that, the two argued over how to do it correctly.
The biggest disagreement involved the one scene Sanchez had written that didn’t move the story forward, a scene between the middle son, Thomas, and an older woman, played by Geraldine Chaplain. It was a scene that highlighted a child’s ordeal with facing loss for the first time.