After Sangre (2005), supported by the Hubert Bals Fund, The Bastards is the second feature by Amat Escalante. The young Spanish-Mexican director has remained faithful to his stylistic principles. He has again engaged an amateur cast, as well as his Mexican colleague Carlos Reygadas, with whom he worked on Battle in Heaven (2005). Escalante now aims his securely observing camera at two Mexican brothers, Fausto and Jesus, who live in Los Angeles as illegal day labourers.
The Bastards describes 24 hours in their lives. A day that starts like all others: finding work - whatever work - is the most important issue. Forcefully and in matter-of-fact way, but also with humour, The Bastards shows the vulnerability of their existence. Alongside the continuous threat of deportation, we see unreliable employers who want to haggle about everything and drunken racists in the park where they seek rest. In the evening, the brothers break into an American woman's house whose husband has hired them to kill her.
Some similarities with Michael Haneke's Funny Games (1997) then emerge. What are the brothers going to do with the defenceless woman, who herself has several surprising problems? It's not primarily about the role of the viewer, but about the confusion, the ambivalence and the banality of life and the violence that eventually - you have been warned - still comes as a surprise. (GT)



International title
The Bastards
Filmmaker
Amat Escalante
Country
Mexico, France, USA
Year
2008
Medium
35mm
Length
90’
Language
Spanish, English
Producer
Jaime Romandía, Amat Escalante, Carlos Reygadas
Production Company
Mantarraya Producciones, Tres Tunas, NoDream Cinema
Sales
Le Pacte
Writer
Martín Escalante, Amat Escalante
Cinematography
Matt Uhry
Editor
Amat Escalante, Ayhan Ergürsel
Production Design
Gabriel Abraham
Sound Design
Raúl Locatelli
Cast
Kenny Johnston
Website
http://www.le-pacte.com/international/library/single/los-bastardos/