(1985, US, 120 min) Dir Rachael Gaudi. Cast Kyle MacLachlan, Sissy Spacek, John Goodman.
Hot off I Love Japanese Punks Rachael Gaudi threw herself immediately into Ich Bin Ein Bastard after she read Michael Tool’s script on the flight home from Tokyo. “I knew I had to make it,” she said years later, “I had to because I loved it and it spoke to me, I think, about not knowing who I was but also because they hadn’t released Japanese Punks yet and I didn’t know if I was going to get the chance to direct anything even again! I didn’t know how right I would be!” Kyle MacLachlan is John F Lewis, hitching his way across the United States to Virginia in the middle of winter when he’s picked up by the Illinois roadside by Sissy Spacek’s fleeing housewife Pam. He tells Pam that he’s just found out from his dying mother that he’s the product of a one night stand with then president John F Kennedy and is travelling to Arlington Cemetery to see his supposed father’s grave. Mostly a two-hander between the two actors (with a mid-film interruption by John Goodman’s hectoring but big-hearted tyre salesman) it’s sensitively handled despite the shock-effect title and beautifully shot by Sandy Pattern.