Bad Education begins in 1980, when Enrique (Gael García Bernal) meets Ignacio (Fele Martínez). Enrique is a young film director looking for the next project to tackle, and Ignacio is an actor looking for work, who has brought a script that he himself has written. He also claims to have been Enrique’s first love, and classmate at boarding school.
The story Ignacio has brought with him happens to tell of their years spent at the boarding school together, and deals with the sexual abuse endured under Catholic priests at the time. Enrique is interested, but can’t help but feel that this isn’t the Ignacio he used to know. After a visit to Ignacio’s mother, he finds out that his former lover has been dead for years, and that this claimant is actually his younger brother, Juan.
Things get even stranger as Enrique and Juan begin a relationship, only to slowly uncover the cause of Ignacio’s death, as a torrid affair from their past between Ignacio and the priest who worked at their boarding school comes to light, and the priest comes to meet Enrique himself. Having learned the truth of the priest and Juan’s plot to off Ignacio to cover up their relationship, Enrique cuts off contact with Ignacio, releasing the film nevertheless, to great acclaim.
“A rapturous masterwork.”
—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Did You Know?
Bad Education was widely considered to be a glorious return to director Pedro Almodóvar’s original “dark style”, and he had worked on the film for a decade before release. After a reporter from the New York Times reported that Gael García Bernal had a falling out with the director over the film’s content, the actor defiantly wrote in response that nothing could be further from the truth. Review our Gay Themed Films Here