New Film Explores Collision of Cultures in California

Mexican director Amat Escalante says “Los Bastardos,” his stunningly violent new movie about two Mexican illegal immigrants in the uncaring world of California, grew out of his own experiences living there as a child.

“The story comes from this uneasiness I have because of living there for a long time, and from wanting to show how these two cultures could come to collide and to break down in some way,” Escalante says in today’s edition of the Mexico City newspaper Reforma.

The movie’s two central characters become embittered and violent after encountering abuse from Americans, including a contractor who stiffs them after the work is done. They invade a home and hold hostage an American woman who is too benumbed by the meaningless of her suburban life to care.

LA Weekly offers this summation of what happens next: “In long, static wide-screen compositions, they take a gander at how the other half lives: eating the woman’s microwave dinners, swimming in her azure pool, and smoking her crack cocaine, before a predictable (albeit startling) blast of violence brings down the curtain on their doomed masquerade.”
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