Bad Education

  • 15
  • Pedro Almodóvar (2004)
  • Sp (SUB)
  • 101 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Pedro Almodóvar goes back to his roots with this drama, inspired by his childhood experiences at a Catholic boarding school. An expansion of a plot thread from his 1987 black comedy The Law of Desire, it opens in 1980 in the offices of rising film-maker Fele Martínez. He is approached by an old school pal (Gael García Bernal), who has a story entitled The Visit. The friend is revealed to be the director's boyhood love and elements of their story populate The Visit, including the abuse Bernal suffered at the hands of a priest. Martínez agrees to film the story with wannabe actor Bernal in the lead, but soon discovers that his leading man is living a shocking lie. Though Almodóvar skilfully manipulates his labyrinthine storyline (aided by Bernal's versatile performance), he overcomplicates this tribute to Hollywood melodrama with too many heavy-handed references to films noirs, Vertigo and Spanish gay icon Sara Montiel. Those who adore his more thoughtful movies - All about My Mother, Talk to Her - may find this a rather superficial regression.

Plot Summary

Drama directed by Pedro Almodóvar, starring Gael García Bernal and Fele Martínez. A director finds inspiration for his next movie when an old friend brings him a story based on their formative days in Catholic school.

Cast and crew


Angel / Zahara / Juan
Gael García Bernal
Enrique Goded
Fele Martínez
Father Manolo
Daniel Gimenez Cacho
Señor Berenguer
Lluís Homar
Ignacio Rodriguez
Francisco Boira
Javier Cámara
Ignacio's mother
Petra Martínez
Young Ignacio
Ignacio Pérez
Young Enrique
Raúl García Forneiro


Pedro Almodóvar

Other Information

Spanish +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Contains swearing, drug abuse and sex scenes.
Available on video and DVD
Released 21 May 2004
Certificate 15