BAD EDUCATION - Directed by Pedro Almodovar

BAD EDUCATION

BAD EDUCATION - directed by Pedro Almodovar release date May 21st, Pathe. Watch the trailer now

Madrid, 1980. Enrique Goded, a young director, (who despite being twenty seven years old, has already directed three successful films), is looking through the newspapers for a story for his fourth film and one item in particular attracts his attention and he cuts it out: “In a zoo in Taiwan, a woman threw herself into a pool full of crocodiles at a time when there were the greatest number of visitors. While the crocodiles were devouring her, the woman hugged one of them without making a sound.”

The doorbell rings. The visitor, an attractive young man with a beard, says he is his old school friend, Ignacio Rodrguez. Enrique remembers his school friend perfectly, but he doesn’t recognize any of the young visitor’s features. But it’s true to say that they haven’t seen each other for sixteen years.

Enrique doesn’t realise it yet, but the search for the story for his next film is staring right at him - smiling and holding out his hand.

In their school days, Ignacio had a literary vocation, but he gradually gave it up for his love for acting. However, he has brought a short story with him called “The Visit”, which he gives to Enrique just in case it might be of interest to him. The story was inspired by their childhood at school, their problems with the priests, in particular with the Principal, the repression, the soccer games, the hypocrisy, the distortion of the spirit, the harassment, the masses sung in Latin by Ignacio who was the soloist in the choir, etc. At the same time, it also tells the story of an essential discovery the two children make: the cinema: Sara Montiel, “Hercules”, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “Moon River”, “Johnny Guitar”, etc.

The imagination of Ignacio, the author, has the three characters meet (in the short story) years later, when they are adults. Enrique, although still young, has become a frustrated family man in the provinces. Father Manolo has left the congregation and Ignacio has become Zahara, a transvestite and drug addict, who impersonates Sara Montiel (Gay icon, a sort of a Spanish Mae West of the 60s and 70s) and is a member of a fifth-rate variety company.
The story is told from Zahara’s point of view on the night she

Film - BAD EDUCATION - directed by Pedro Almodovar release date May 21st, Pathe. Watch the trailer now
Film - BAD EDUCATION - directed by Pedro Almodovar release date May 21st, Pathe. Watch the trailer now
Film - BAD EDUCATION - directed by Pedro Almodovar release date May 21st, Pathe. Watch the trailer now
Film - BAD EDUCATION - directed by Pedro Almodovar release date May 21st, Pathe. Watch the trailer now

performs in a Casino in the same city where Enrique and he went to school.
The encounter between the three characters, in the short story, ends tragically.

Enrique Goded reads “The Visit” with great interest. He is moved by the first part, which deals with their childhood, his love story with Ignacio, broken up by Father Manolo who, in love with Ignacio, expels Enrique from school so as not to have to compete with him for Ignacio’s love. The second part, when Ignacio, who has now become Zahara, visits the school, which intrigues and disconcerts him, but also interests him.

He decides to adapt “The Visit” and make it into a film. When he tells Ignacio Rodrguez, whose stage name is ngel Andrade (he insists on being called this by his friends), explodes with joy. He only imposes one condition, that he acts in the film. Enrique doesn’t mind, but when Ignacio (ngel) asks to play the lead, the transvestite Zahara, Enrique tells him that he isn’t right for the character (he also doesn’t understand why). He is too masculine and too well built - physically he is just the opposite to play a character like Zahara. Ignacio (ngel) insists, he asks Enrique to trust him. Enrique replies that he finds it very hard to trust him and they end up having a violent argument. Ignacio (ngel) leaves and says if he doesn’t play Zahara there won’t be any film.

In the days following the argument, Enrique can’t get the mysterious visitor out of his mind. He decides to investigate further into the strangers visit, after all that’s a storyteller’s job, investigating his characters in depth in order to understand and portray them better. Enrique discovers that the attractive boy who came to ask for work is not Ignacio Rodrguez but an impostor who had access to the real Ignacio. He also discovers that the real Ignacio died three years ago, shortly after writing “The Visit”.
The shock of such a discovery increases when, a few days later, ngel Andrade (the false Ignacio) visits him again. He has shaved his beard and slimmed down a little. Enrique thinks he has come to apologize and to explain everything, but he hasn’t. The false Ignacio apologizes for the violent argument they had when they last met, and offers Enrique the film rights to “The Visit”, without imposing any conditions. He doesn’t say a word about Ignacio or mentions at any point that he is an imposter. He only asks to be allowed to audition for the role of Zahara. (Enrique listens to him in astonishment). He can see that ngel has already slimmed down and knows he has also started working in a gay bar in order to learn how to be a “queen”, as well as private lessons from Sandra, a transvestite who specializes in Sara Montiel.

Enrique auditions him, gives him the part and at the same time decides to make him his lover. He wants to know the impostor’s reasons for pretending to be Igancio and how much longer he will continue. He also wants to know how Ignacio, his old school friend died and he doesn’t care what price he has to pay for this adventure.

Many months of preparation go by. The first day of shooting “The Visit” arrives, and so does the last one. Enrique often has sex with ngel, but it is only physical. He doesn’t manage to discover anything about Ignacio’s death and Angel’s mystery remains intact.
However, on the last day someone visits the set and hides behind the film crew, watching without being seen.
When Enrique goes back to his office to gather up his things, he catches the mysterious stranger in there, rummaging through photos from the shoot. The visitor calls himself by his surname, Mr. Berenguer, but Enrique recognizes Fr. Manolo, dressed in civilian clothes and seventeen years older than the last time he saw him, the day he expelled him from school. Now it is Enrique who expels him from his office. But Mr. Berenguer remains motionless and asks him: “Don’t you want to know how Ignacio died and who killed him? Wouldn’t you like to know the identity of ngel Andrade, the actor in your film?” Enrique wants to know.

Driven by the same suicidal curiosity that led him to work with ngel Andrade whilst knowing he was an impostor, Enrique lets Father Manolo tell him the true story of Ignacio as an adult and as he listens he feels like the woman who threw herself into the pool of crocodiles and hugged them while they ate her.

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