With it’s intriguing premise – possibility of erasing a person’s identity and implanting new memories, a compact cast of three principal characters and a narrative that develops backwards, Estado de Regresión is one of the most accomplished truly independent productions to come out of Europe in recent years. The intro, unfolding entirely without dialogue, is a showcase of Álex Mendíbil’s skill at mounting the tension and getting the viewer hooked. We follow the three members of an unnamed secret organisation who are to organise a terror attack in Madrid’s business district. In between drawing up plans and making bombs the suicidal trio, aptly portrayed by Marta Suárez, Antonio Villa and Jesús Calvo, are busy sleeping around and poking at each other’s emotional wounds. Tensions rise as the cell is placed at risk of exposure.
Estado de Regresión is a thrilling ride packed with provocative imagery and some great ideas. The few stylistic inconsistencies can be easily overlooked in the face of such assured storytelling. Made over the course of just a few days, Estado de Regresión is a triumph of guerilla filmmaking. It’s a shame the team behind this independent gem hasn’t made more films since.