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also known as The Bastards

Los bastardos2008

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  • 3.6
A multiple award winner and 2008 Cannes Film Festival selection, Amat Escalante's LOS BASTARDOS makes an indelibly disturbing impact. Like the rest of the day-laboring migrant workers who gather together each morning on a southwestern American strip mall sidewalk, Jesus (Jesus Moises Rodriguez) and Fausto (Rubén Sosa) struggle to get ahead in El Norte. But when a callous gringo boss strands them in the middle of a community that exploits them one minute and insults them the next, the two young men cock their sawed off shotgun and calmly take a troubled housewife hostage in her own home. "Why are you doing this?," asks Karen (Nina Zavarin), a strung-out and paranoid divorcee with little left to lose. "Por la dinero," replies Jesus. Before LOS BASTARDOS reaches its shockingly violent climax, Jesus, Fausto and Karen will have mapped out a contemporary North American wasteland of affectless, benumbed amorality far surpassing mere greed. Co-produced by Carlos Reygadas, LOS BASTARDOS plumbs the depths of human brutality with the same cool cinematic certitude as the work of Michael Haneke and Bruno Dumont.

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1 member likes this review

Exquisite tension. Deeply chilling and disturbing.

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Member Reviews (8)

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top reviewer

Unusual plot and simple story but ironically it doesn't make you feel like you watched a simple story.. Maybe because the movie was about possibly complicated situation with all illegal immigrants in US and things can go horribly wrong without any bad intention. I don't understand the ending though.. I don't know what the movie tries to say by having the survived guy jerking himself in the middle of field.. Maybe this indicates that he is and will do something very private in public without anyone noticing it... and that's going to be his life.. It's there but no one sees it..

3 members like this review

Exquisite tension. Deeply chilling and disturbing.

1 member likes this review

An unrelentingly grim and ultimately shocking film that depicts the dehumanizing effects of racism and exploitation as experienced by two "undocumented" Mexican immigrants. Victims themselves, they in turn victimize a struggling divorced woman whose home they invade, with catastrophic consequences for all three. The film sometimes loses focus and credibility, but is still valuable as social commentary on the relationship between oppression and violence.

1 member likes this review

The film is beautifully shot, and also has a wicked soundtrack, which goes along perfectly infused in style and theme of the plot. In the end, amazing photography and fascinating pace makes it a very special kind of cinema; well done and has such profound emotion that if it falls short of masterpiece. a casually essential piece from start to fin.

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

Excellent movie. I've known a few Mexican laborers and their lives truly are as conflicted as the movie shows. .

The film uses the 'home-invasion' theme to present several stories in an oft times muted manner which gives way to an expected yet surprisingly shocking conclusion. The contrast between the first 5/6ths and the last 1/6th of the film is jarring to say the least.

It is wise for the viewer to recall the conversation of the two 'late-comers' to the WalMart lineup of day laborers especially their reason for being late and the sum of money they were promised before showing up at the lineup.

We are made privy to the lives of illegal day-laborers, the lives of a now-single mom and her son, and a glimpse into the lives of everyday red-neck yokels.

Excellent film 4 well earned stars

It was good

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