Bastards y Diablos: Grief on Location
“You come into the world. If you’re lucky, you have a family. And then you say goodbye to them.” Gabriel Rojas’ narration haunts the scene as the deceased oft-absentee father of Dion and Ed, who have reunited in Colombia to fulfill their father’s final requests. The half-brothers, played by Dillon Porter (local to the Rogue Valley, as is a collection of the crew) and Andrew Perez, also the screenwriter, embark on a journey which explores the expanses of a grief that began long before the death of their father. As these two grown men explore themes of family, legacy, cultural shame and pride, self-discovery and love, they also run the course of their loss. The film is multilingual in more than one sense: while the dialogue moves between English and subtitled Spanish, languages of grief, brotherhood, and place weave in and out of what’s said as well as what’s shown.
Loss and grief, perhaps two of the most extensively explored topics across artistic disciplines, also may be two of the most complex to portray with grace. There is a balance of grit and tenderness that Bastards achieves, perhaps due to an unconventional approach: the story is based on the life of Perez’s own father and weaves in a combination of film professionals and non-actors and was shot entirely on location in Colombia with a bare-bones crew on a $25,000 budget. By director A.D. Freese’s own account, “Bastards y Diablos is an epic story about intimate themes—brotherhood, legacy, love, and death—told in an unconventional manner.” Through beautiful and intimate detail, as well as the vast and lovely landscape of Colombia, Bastards places you right in the center of this intensely human journey. J.J. ROWAN