She is illeterate and has (of course) been illeterate her whole life. Being that must have been reason to bullying and different kinds og social punishments and she may have become an outcast from early childhood. And she still is limeted by her disabilities. She has no friends - maybe becasue of that. She has no family - maybe they got killed during the war or something else or there's been some kind of hurtful break. These things can make a person angry, sad and out of touch with emotional, moral issues that other people experience differently. Besides this a feeling of inferiority because of her illiteracy and poor chances of work, money and social status can damage a person and its judgement. Think back on the context, the time when she was child. In those times there was no understanding nor any coping with illeterate people. That can cause a feeling and an identitty of inferior status and maybe an alienation. We also see this feeling of inferiority and the tendency of giving up on issues larger than getting food on the table when she doesn't protest when being blamed solely for the church fire's killing. Why else would she pleed guilty when she knows she wasn't the only one making that decision - and of course hadn't written the letter??
In some ways I think she a poor creature. Not that its excuses her behaviour but it explains it to me at least.
Humans aren't born evil. No one is. But our actions can be seen as evil. And we may be interpreted as evil persons especially if our upbringing has been damaging and we haven't been able to turn ourselves around.
Pedophila is no issue here as I've read on American Amazon's discussion pages. I agee with Gretchen Campbell on this issue.
Isn't pedophilia somehting that needs a "child" that is unable to judge whether the sexual acts are wrong or wanted? I don't think Michael is a child nor unable to reason what he wants.
But what a great movie! It really touched and moved me. It's gonna be with me for a long time, I think.