La mala educación (Bad Education). 2004. Spain. Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. With Gael García Bernal, Fele Martinez, Daniel Giménez Cacho. DCP. In Spanish; English subtitles. 106 min.
Enrique (Fele Martínez) is a young, talented film director. Actor Ignacio (Gael García Bernal) turns up in his office to look for work and identifies himself as a childhood friend. Enrique doesn’t recognize this man in front of him, but his reaction to the name Ignacio signals a deeply intertwined past. Ignacio hands Enrique a story he has written and asks Enrique to consider turning it into a film—and casting him in the leading role. The story turns out to be based on their childhood in a Catholic boarding school, where they fell in love but were pulled apart by Father Manolo (Daniel Giménez Cacho), who was obsessed with Ignacio and sexually abused him. As the picture unfolds, moving between past and present, facts, fiction, fantasy, and identity keep shifting. Bad Education is a film noir/melodrama hybrid layered with shadowy pasts and unexpected twists.