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The Bastard's Fig Tree

The Bastards' Fig Tree

La higuera de los bastardos
A fable about the power of guilt, an intriguing way of speaking about historical memory, of remembering in an original way that which should never be forgotten.

Adding to the recent body of work addressing the fallout from Spain’s Civil War, Ana Murugarren makes an unusual contribution in this black comedy about the redemption of Spain, which sees an executioner atone for his sins by becoming a hermit, adapted from the novel of the same name by Ramiro Pinilla.

It’s the end of the Spanish Civil War in Gexto, a small town in the Basque Country. Rogelio (Karra Elejalde Spanish Affair 1&2 SFF15/16) a trigger-happy fascist becomes convinced that the child of a local teacher he executed will one day be his maker. Rogelio decides the only way to escape the boy’s vengeance is to dedicate the rest of his life to taking care of the fig tree that boy has planted at his father’s gravesite.

Rogelio’s rigid dedication doesn’t go unnoticed and starts affecting the people surrounding the tree. Including the mayor’s wife, who promotes him as a tourist attraction, his opportunistic neighbour Ermo (Carlos Areces, I’m So Excited! 2013), who believes there must be treasure under the tree, and Rogelio’s old comrades who want him to leave and stop calling attention to the macabre marker.

DirectorAna Murugarren
CastKarra Elejalde, Pepa Aniorte, Carlos Areces, Mikel Losada, Andrés Herrera
Spain | 2017 | 103 min
Spanish with English subtitles
18+ (exemption)