Friday, October 9, 2009


Pelicula: 8th Spanish Film Festival
Cinema 1, Greenbelt 3

It is 1936 and Father Miguel has been newly assigned to the town of Navarre. A working class village in the north of Spain with Socialist leaning tendencies. Based on a true story, we witness as the town becomes a battleground between the Falangists (right wing supporters of the dictator Franco), the Carlists (supporters of the monarchy in exile) and the Socialists (Communists).

In the midst of the raging revolt, Father Miguel is exorcising his own demons as he questions the Catholic Church's support for the dictatorship. A support which the Vatican equates to a Holy Crusade against 'evil'. Father Miguel desperately tries to stick to the teachings of the Church by protecting his parishioners in a timeless, passionate appeal against injustice. His only refuge in this lonely battle is his close friendship with a young school teacher whose husband (a Socialist doctor) was killed by the Fascists.

A powerful history based film that doesn't exploit nor condone the Revolt of 1936 which led to 3 years of civil war in Spain. It presents how a small town changes from a peaceful community to a place marred by executions and mistrust among its population as it veers towards a right wing stance. However, it does put the Catholic Church in a bad light as it openly ignored the atrocities (the persecution of Communists) committed supposedly on behalf of the Gospel during this volatile period in Spain's colorful history.

A story that deals with love, war and religion as seen through the eyes of a young man of deep faith and deeper moral convictions. It deserves to be told!

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