Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: El Crimen Del Padre Amaro
Mexico/Spain/Argentina/France, 2002. Alameda Films, Artcam International, Blu Films, Cinecolor, Fondo para la Producción Cinematográfica de Calidad, Gobierno del Estado de Veracruz, Ibermedia, Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía, Videocolor, Wanda Films. Screenplay by Vicente Lenero, based on the novel by Eca de Queiros. Cinematography by Guillermo Granillo. Produced by Daniel Birman Ripstein, Alfredo Ripstein hijo. Music by Rosino Serrano. Production Design by Carmen Giménez Cacho. Costume Design by María Estela Fernández. Film Editing by Oscar Figueroa. Academy Awards 2002. Golden Globe Awards 2002. National Board of Review Awards 2002. Toronto International Film Festival 2002.
A young priest prepares for his studies in Rome by presiding over a parish in a tiny Mexican town. He arrives with all sorts of lofty ideals, but is immediately ensconced by the corruption and hypocrisy of the more jaded church leaders who surround him. One priest is involved with local mobsters, while another supports guerilla fighters in the mountains. How long can he cling to what he loves most about his work before succumbing to the same temptations himself? Things get dicey when he falls in love with a local Sunday school teacher and endangers his vow of chastity. Based on a controversial 19th-century novel, this excellent drama updates the setting to present day without losing any of its possible power, and shows a critical examination of an institution that has never been without blame.