Perils of passion

67-bad-education Film: Bad Education (Spanish, 2004)

Enrique Goded, a young, eccentric movie director, is visited by Ignacio, who claims he is Enrique’s childhood love. Ignacio has a script that he wants Enrique to direct on condition that the director casts him as the transsexual lead in the movie. The script, titled ‘The Visit’, starts with their childhood days in a Catholic boarding school. It reveals how Enrique was expelled from school after the principal, Father Manolo, who had molested Ignacio, learnt that the boys were in love.

‘The Visit’ follows the life of Ignacio, who later became Zahara, a transsexual drag artist. Enrique concedes to Ignacio’s demand, and decides to make the movie. But, he soon realises that the real Ignacio has been dead for a few years; the pretender is Ignacio’s younger brother Juan. However, the two begin an intensely passionate affair, and what unfolds next is an intriguing tale of deception, abuse, confusion and perfidious passions.

Directed by Pedro Almodóvar, arguably one of the finest filmmakers of our times, Bad Education is a complex, unsettling story about abuse, identity and passion. The film, which opened the 57th Cannes Film Festival, does require attentive viewing as it frequently goes back and forth in time, and uses the film-within-a-film approach to reveal the intentions and transgressions of characters.