In The Name Of (2013)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.5.

Original title:  W Imie…

Poland, 2013.  MD4, Mental Disorder 4, Canal+ Polska, Shot – Szumowski, Zentropa International Poland.  Screenplay by Malgorzata Szumowska, .  Cinematography by Michal Englert.  Produced by .  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , .  Film Editing by .  

A dedicated priest at a youth centre in a country village aims at helping residents transition from juvenile detention and keep them from a lifetime in the prison system.  He works hard, spares no discipline on the young men but treats them with kindness and understanding; of course a break from grace is not far off in the distance.  Two elements of change set him on a different path: one member of his troupe is a young man with a deep feeling of sympathy for him, an image of almost Christlike beauty whose physique is blended with no subtlety into the natural surroundings and draws our hero’s heart right up into his throat.  Add to that the trauma of discovering two other boys having a sexual affair that leads to devastating drama and pretty soon the priest is unsure of his identity either as a man or as a man of the cloth.  Breaking from the accepted norm has been done in gay cinema many times before, but this one gets points for assured direction, terrific performances and a beautiful visual palette.  Malgorzata Szumowska doesn’t manage to rewrite history with a predictable plot, but the heat that the actors have between them makes the familiarity easy to forget.

Berlin Film Festival:  In Competition


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