Film Review by Michael Lawson | 12 Apr 2010
  • Clandestinos
Film title: Clandestinos
Director: Antonio Hens
Starring: Israel Rodríguez, Hugo Catalán, Mehroz Arif
Release date: 19 Apr
Certificate: 15

One of very few films released on these shores addressing the Basque conflict, Clandestinos is an engaging if slight drama. Xabi (Rodríguez) pulls off a prison break and leads Mexican Joel (Catalán) and Moroccan Driss (Arif) to Madrid. He boasts of his terrorist credentials and his stories hold water, what with his access to weapons and an apartment to build bombs in. But, as is always the case in the movies, nothing is as it seems, and police detectives he hustled and some high-ranking ETA members are soon closing in. Shot for next to nothing and technically unpolished, this is nonetheless a fiery and vividly performed movie, albeit one which could have done with a few script redrafts and a more reasonable budget. As the tagline (and Bruce LaBruce’s The Raspberry Reich) informs us, “you don’t have to be straight to be a terrorist”, and, there are some genuinely subversive ideas in the film's politics. If only they had been developed more.