Jan Komasa, 2019, Poland
This was worth a trip to the cinema!
The film connects us with our striking-looking young male protagonist straight away. He’s a prisoner, in the kind of environment where very bad things happen among the inmates when the guards’ backs are turned. Is religion his escape? He helps out at their makeshift church. But he can’t get into the seminary with a criminal record…
So he blags it instead, pretending to be the new curate of the parish near the factory he’s supposed to be going to work in. And with his unique methods and unorthodox style, he helps the village heal old wounds and long-standing grief.
It’s occasionally a touch melodramatic, but with the subject matter, I guess the tone is going to be serious. I think it was the lead actor’s performance that made it. He’s really believable and I was really rooting for him.
But it’s been a couple of weeks now since I saw it and it hasn’t lingered. Was there redemption? Did anyone learn anything? As usual, I may have missed the subtleties in translation (Polish dialogue/Spanish subtitles). It would make a good double bill with Paul Schrader’s First Reformed.