For the section of Almodovar’s fans made up of casual movie goers,Bad Educationis a divisive film. Many of the elements that cemented his cross-cultural appeal are more nuanced here, if not outright non-existent. Almodovar said that the script forBad Educationtook him over ten years to write. This is an intensely personal film, rooted in Almodovar’s own childhood; though Almodovar wasn’t sexually abused, he he knew people who were. In an interview with The New York Times, he described how he frequently clashed with the priests who considered his questions heretical.Bad Educationis a scathing indictment of Francoist Spain wrapped up in a film noir. The main character Enrique is an up and coming director who receives a script from his old school friend Ignacio that describes the abuse he suffered at the hands of Father Manolo. Few films has haunted or terrified me as much. I was reminded of Lynch’sBlue Velvetin terms of sheer horror. Even Almodovar’s candy colors and fantastic sets can barely contain the filth being spewed up from below. He captures the ridgid elegance of the Catholic ceremonies. In the same interview Almodovar said, “I do put in the whole Catholic ceremony. I don’t go to church anymore and I am not a believer, but I really enjoy the rituals of the church. The literary aspect is marvelous. The wording. Whether you believe or not, it is a beautiful ceremony.”Bad Education is a brave film, and we must admire the courage Almodovar displayed in making it. But it is a tough pill to swallow.