A cockeyed terrorist group plots more mayhem than it’s able to carry out in “The Stubborn Ones,” a seriously flawed film whose tragic topicality is unlikely to help it find an audience. Feature bow by Argentine helmer Mariano Torres Manzur pokes childish fun at a motley crew of dim-witted anarchists living on a farm outside Buenos Aires, but lacks insight into their motives. Lensed in B&W and screened at Venice in Beta, pic’s poverty-stricken look may mirror its spiritually destitute characters, but it’s far too amateurishly shot to make a coherent point.
Artemio, a down-and-out knife-sharpener, is enticed into the cell by Dino, who keeps portraits of Karl Marx and Eva Peron on the wall of his farm house. Other revolutionaries include a young French girl who quickly pairs with Artemio, as well as a sadistic ex-soldier, an old-timer ready to kill for his libertarian ideals, and a gambler whose wife has kicked him out of the house. Silly rather than funny, these rebels without a cause are wooden and lifeless. Randomly moving camera and uncertain editing have trouble centering scenes.