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2 Pedro Almodóvar Quotes: Filmmaker vs. Catholic Church’s Anti-Gay Bigotry

Gael García Bernal in Pedro Almodóvar's Bad EducationGael García Bernal in Pedro Almodóvar’s Bad Education: The Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker takes on the Catholic Church and its longstanding anti-gay stance, while the Mexican actor reveals his “inner transvestite.”
  • Below are two brief Pedro Almodóvar quotes, as the Bad Education filmmaker speaks out against the Catholic Church’s long history of anti-gay bigotry and for the rights of same-sex couples to get married.
  • Further down is a Gael García Bernal quote about the Bad Education actor’s concept of his own “inner transvestite.”

2 Pedro Almodóvar quotes: Spanish filmmaker confronts the Catholic Church’s millenary anti-gay bigotry and offers his views on the issue of same-sex marriage

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Below are a couple of brief Pedro Almodóvar quotes that, however obliquely, are connected to his latest effort, Bad Education / La mala educación, the opening night presentation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

A daring mix of humor, romance, film noir (in color), and psychological drama, Bad Education has at its core the issue of child sex abuse at the hands of a gay Catholic priest.

As found in Time, Almodóvar recently opined on the Catholic Church’s fight against equal rights for gays in Spain, where the socialist government of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has paved the way for the legalization of gay marriage.

“What the Church is doing – really badly – is fighting against citizens. As secularism grows stronger and stronger every day, the role of the Church is growing smaller and smaller.”

But how small?

Gay marriage becomes legal in Spain

Update: Fast forward to July 2005.

In spite of the Catholic Church’s position, gay marriage became legal in Spain on July 3. The Netherlands (2001) and Belgium (2003) are the only two other countries where same-sex marriage is legal. Canada should soon follow suit.

At the time of the Spanish decision on same-sex marriage, Pedro Almodóvar shared a few more thoughts on the matter:

“I don’t like marriage. I am not going to get married. But it is important for this to be called marriage so people know that it is the same thing for everyone.”

Gael García Bernal quote: Musings on one’s ‘inner transvestite’

Best known internationally for Alfonso Cuarón’s coming-of-age road movie Y tu mamá también, Gael García Bernal has discussed claims that he had a tough time – and gave director Pedro Almodóvar an equally tough time – during the making of Bad Education because, as the film’s mysterious homme/femme fatal(e), he had to dress up in drag and play several near-explicit gay sex scenes.

In The New York Times Magazine, the Guadalajara-born Bernal clarified the issue:

“Everyone has their inner transvestite, but my inner transvestite is Mexican-Caribbean, and that’s a very different way of putting on a show than Pedro’s. Making this film was very hard, but in Bad Education, as in all of Pedro’s movies, we see a world we have never seen.”

Bad Education movie cast

Bad Education features Gael García Bernal as, among other entities, a femme fatale-ish transvestite; four-time Ariel Award (Mexican Oscar) winner Daniel Giménez Cacho (Cronos) as a pedophiliac priest; and Fele Martínez (Open Your Eyes) as an Almodóvar-esque filmmaker.

Also in the cast: Lluís Homar, Francisco Maestre, Francisco Boira, Juan Fernández, Nacho Pérez (as Ignacio Pérez), Raúl García Forneiro, and, in brief/not-so-brief cameos, Talk to Her actors Leonor Watling and Javier Cámara.

Besides the near-explicit gay sex bits, Bad Education offers viewers old movie clips illustrating Sara Montiel’s emotional impact on impressionable boys and a passionate homage to the power of cinema.

Oscar winner Pedro Almodóvar (Best Original Screenplay for Talk to Her, 2002) wrote and directed Bad Education, which was produced by his brother, Agustín Almodóvar.

“2 Pedro Almodóvar Quotes: Filmmaker vs. Catholic Church’s Anti-Gay Bigotry” notes

Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother was the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner of 1999.

The New York Film Critics Circle’s Best Foreign Language Film, Bad Education wasn’t up for consideration in that particular Academy Award category, as Spain submitted instead Alejandro Amenábar’s domestic hit The Sea Inside / Mar adentro.

See also: Michael Moore and John Sayles quotes against the Iraq War, while Oliver Stone excoriates Hollywood warmongering. Elsewhere, movie veterans Joan Collins and Lauren Bacall opine on Nicole Kidman’s Movie Legend status (or lack thereof).

Gael García Bernal Bad Education movie image: Sony Pictures Classics.

“2 Pedro Almodóvar Quotes: Filmmaker vs. Catholic Church’s Anti-Gay Bigotry” last updated in May 2023.

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