Australis Kauyeken, base camp
Iñárritu and his team installed themselves at this hotel on the slopes of Mount Olivia. This is a self-sustaining establishment made from local materials. It’s the perfect place to switch off: there is hardly any mobile telephone signal and there’s no Internet. It’s 15 minutes from the Cerro Castor ski centre.
Most of them are located in Kananaskis Country, a group of parks surrounded by the Rocky Mountains in Calgary (Canada). This is a large, wild area that is perfect for recreating the unspoilt lands where the trappers in the film venture in search of furs. Iñárritu tried to achieve the highest possible level of realism. He didn’t want to use chroma keying or special effects and only filmed in natural light. This caused a delay in the shooting calendar, because there were days when they could only work for two or three hours. Nature doesn’t understand production schedules and the snow-covered landscape melted, forcing the production team to search for an alternative. They found it 13,000 kilometres south in Ushuaia, the most southern spot in the world.
Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia, Argentina, is covered by snow from the end of June until the beginning of October. The team moved to the area of Mount Olivia, which is the highest peak of the mountains in Ushuaia, where they shot the scenes they needed to complete the film. Glaciers, lakes and forests comprise a panorama as indomitable as the one crossed by the man played by Leonardo DiCaprio. ‘The Revenant’ is set in 1823, when the American West was still a land unexplored by settlers. Although production was moved to the Olivia River Valley, they could have chosen the nearby Fuegian Andes or Martial Glacier, just 4 kilometres from the city of Ushuaia. All of the surrounding scenery fulfilled the script’s requirements: majestic and hardly touched by man.