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Enrique (Fele Martínez), a young and successful film director, meets a mysterious actor (Gael García Bernal, The Motorcycle Diaries) who claims to be his old school friend Ignacio. The two collaborate on Ignacio's screenplay, which deals with their romantic relationship in a Spanish religious school during the early 1960s, where the boys discovered love, movies and fear. Enrique soon suspects not everyone is as they seem, but plays along with the masquerade to discover the truth about his old friend. Directed by Pedro Almodóvar (Talk to Her, All About My Mother.)

 Bad Education

School memories are always good dramatic material, but I never felt the impulse to make them into a movie, until around five years ago.

I don’t know the reason, maybe it’s because I’m getting old. In any case, it has to do with the passage of time. This passage, almost forty years, has been very positive because it has given me distance and perspective to not make a movie about good characters and evil ones.

Bad Education is not a settling of scores with the priests that educated me, nor revenge. In fact, the children part is only one of the elements that form its complex plot. Bad Education is a sort of anthology of all the themes that have interested me up until now, with a sort of more pessimistic and serene look.

There’s the musical with a transvestite atmosphere of the late ’70s, the cinema as a profession, link, ambition and reflection of the characters. The fraternity (in this case understood as murderous rivalry between brothers). The sexual duality, people with bodies that don’t match their spirit. School life, sports, the discovery of sensuality among schoolmates, the fear of the superior’s aggressions, Catholic priests in this case. Religious ceremonies, the loss of faith. Music, always. The artist, in continuous search of a story to live and to tell, to whom it’s impossible to separate one from the other. Cinema within cinema. And last, and maybe the most important, fatality. It had been some time since I wanted to do a film noir and I think this is the genre that would define best Bad Education although, as in all of my productions, this thriller is combined with other genres.

This is probably the darkest movie I’ve done since Matador. The good thing about cinema, among many other things, is its capacity to convert into spectacle and entertainment the worst of our nature.

All of the movies I’ve done are borne out of an almost physiological need to do those and not others. My guts choose the theme, the tone and the moment. This has happened more than ever with Bad Education. I am under the impression that the story has lived within me as an alien for a long time, and that it has been necessary to do fourteen other movies to get it to form. Once I am rid of it I feel moved, light and happy.