THE BASTARDS' FIG TREE
In Ana Murugarren’s whimsical THE BASTARDS’ FIG TREE, a fascist soldier in the Spanish Civil War becomes a fig-tree obsessed hermit after looking into the vengeful eyes of a young boy whose father and brother he had violently executed.
Prolific Spanish actor Karra Elejalde (ACCIÓN MUTANTE; TIMECRIMES) infuses Rogelio with a complex mix of darkness, sympathy, and quirkiness. Though he begins his role buttoned up and cruel, he eventually proves himself capable of an incredibly warm, humorous, and farcical performance.
Much like PAN’S LABYRINTH before it, THE BASTARDS’ FIG TREE provides a fresh, magical exploration of the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, showing both the brutality of war and its ability to inspire hope and change in a broken society. It’s astounding to realize this is only Murugarren’s second time directing a feature film. Her work has a clear voice that shifts between fantasy, comedy, and drama with great ease.
With its dry humor, sharp political and religious satire, and lushly filmed magical realism, THE BASTARDS’ FIG TREE is a unique and absorbing film you won’t want to miss.
LOGAN TAYLOR. Fantastic Fest Programmer