After the death of their father, Gabriel (JB Blanc), two estranged brothers travel to Colombia to honor his last wishes. He wanted them to take his ashes to special parts of the country he loved, and to have them connect with family and places that meant so much to him. Along the way, brothers, who hadn’t spent time together since childhood, reconnect with each other as well and learn more about the country of their father’s birth, a culture neither of them knows well.
Bastards y Diablos (Bastards and Devils) is semi-autobiographical for screenwriter/actor Andrew Perez, who does have a half-brother from a Colombian father, and the story was, in fact, inspired by the death of his father.
Eduardo (Andrew Perez) and Dion (Dillon Porter) meet in Colombia. It’s clear they’ve not seen each other in a long time and aren’t close. Dion asks Eduardo if he was aware that his mother had died, and he’s angry that Eduardo didn’t call or send a card. When they see their relatives, they put on a happy face for family sake as they reunite with some and as they meet others for the first time. When the will is read, they learn of their father’s desires for them to travel Colombia with his ashes. What follows evolves into a buddy road movie that shows the heart of a nation, the beauty of a culture you may not know, and the story of two strangers becoming brothers and friends.
“When the will is read they learn of their father’s desires for them to travel Colombia with his ashes.”
This film is a beautiful experience, a combination travel adventure, relationship story, and a window into the unique culture of Colombia. One of the most moving scenes is when they are drinking with their cousin Jairo (Rubén Arciniegas), and he tells Eduardo that he and Dion may have Bipolar disorder, as it runs in the family. When Eduardo suggests treatment, Jairo responds passionately that he will take no pills, that he wants to feel the terrible and the beautiful equally from the world, as deeply as he can. Jairo is also angry at how Americans view Colombia, generally as only this history of Pablo Escobar and drug cartels, and never learning anything more. He says, and we see that Colombia is an exquisite land with traditional culture and deep commitment to family.
In true independent fashion, they organized the shooting schedule around a month-long tour of five locations in Colombia, asking families to prepare locations and arrangements for each location. Then, running and gunning, with little sleep, in a foreign country, they made the film. Perez and Director A.D. Freese were inspired by the ferociously independent style of John Cassavetes, favoring character over complex plot, and authenticity over artifice. Their approach to filmmaking results in raw, naturalistic performances that are very compelling. The filmmakers cast family in the film as well as local actors. Bruni (Brunhilde Otto) plays herself in the film, re-enacting the heart-wrenching moment when she found out Gabriel had passed.
The film premiered at the LA Film Festival in competition, winning awards throughout the festival circuit, then opened theatrically in 4 Colombian cities in 2018, now for the first time released in North America on VOD.
The ground covered in Bastards y Diablos reflects the totality of their father’s journey, as he says “to the end of the world,” and the start of a new adventure for his sons. This is the real legacy and inheritance for Eduardo and Dion. Their imperfect father, as his last act, gave his sons a life-altering experience, a new family, and each other.
"…their imperfect father, as his last act, gave his sons a life altering experience, a new family, and each other. "