“A spare and brutal survey of the suburban wasteland”
Meshing genre thrills and austere observational filmmaking, the second film by award-winning Mexican filmmaker, Amat Escalante (The Untamed) is a defiant exploration of how humanity is tainted by economic pressures, racism and inequality.
Premiering in Un Certain Regard at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, Los Bastardos tells the story of undocumented Mexican immigrants Fausto and Jesús. The men barely eke out an existence as day-labourers in Los Angeles however on this day, the wages are higher, and Jesús carries a shotgun in his bag.
Employing a cast of non-professional actors, Escalante said he “wanted to make a movie that maybe even a person from Fox News could show and say, ‘Look, this is why we don’t want Mexicans here’ but I also wanted a movie where Mexicans could say, ‘Look this is our experience when we go to the United States.”
Amat Escalante shares a close association with Carlos Reygadas. They worked together on Battle in Heaven and Reygadas has served as Associate Producer on several of Escalante’s films including Heli and Sangre.
A truly international film, Los Bastardos was shot in the United States and edited in Turkey with Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s regular collaborator Aihan Ergursel (The Small Town).