Bastards: Pathways of the Portuguese Punk 1977-2014 covers four decades of Portuguese punk. The narrative begins shortly after democracy is implemented in Portugal, with the release of Aqui D’El Rock’s 1978 debut single “Há Que Violentar O Sistema” (“The System Must Be Violated”), which is largely considered the first Portuguese punk record. We’re then gradually brought to the 21st century through first-person testimonies from members of seminal bands such as Xutos & Pontapés, Cães Vadios, Mata-Ratos, Os Faíscas (the first incarnation of Heróis do Mar), or Peste & Sida, as well as journalists, visual artists, and label owners.
With its direction anonymously credited to KISMIF (an acronym for Keep It Simple, Make It Fast), the documentary revolves around the idea of delivering a collective story made up of several personal narratives that connect to create a fascinating patchwork history of the punk scene in Portugal. Birthed in an academic environment, Bastards never loses sight of its anthropological goal and features an admirable amount of data. Available online—for free and with English subtitles—Bastards is an important attempt to preserve a cultural record (and make it accessible) long after all the main characters have disappeared.
Review by Ana Leorne. Check out the full archive of the Stuff You Gotta Watch column.