Contemporary World Cinema | 2017 | 102 minutes
SIFF Says:Gorgeous and successful yet unlucky in love, Elena (Blanca Suárez) pops into a local pub to charge her phone en route to what she hopes will be a promising first date. But when a pair of patrons are promptly assassinated outside the bar’s front door and the streets quickly empty into an eerie silence, the motley group of barflies―including retired cop Andres (Joaquín Climent), crazed, scripture-quoting Israel (Jaime Ordóñez), middle-aged gambling addict Trini (Carmen Machi), and jaded hipster Nacho (Mario Casas)―find their leisurely afternoon jaunt has become ground zero for a sinister government conspiracy. As survival instincts kick in and alliances quickly form, desperation drives the panicked strangers deeper into the city’s bowels and into a vicious dog-eat-dog struggle, revealing who each person truly is and leading to surprising twists in this lively, energetic comedic thriller. Acclaimed writer and director Álex de la Iglesia (My Big Night, Witching and Bitching) brings his signature fever-pitch style to this sharp dissection of modern Spain. From the moneyed elite to the bored middle class to desperate transients, The Bar gleefully strips away the veneer of “proper” society to reveal how quickly the fragile bonds of civilization can fray when desperation truly sets in.
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