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In Cash Converters?,
This review is from: Nazarin [DVD] (DVD)
I've had a fairly uneasy and bumpy alliance with Luis Buhnel - many rate his work so highly that it is beyond reproach. I think that it can be agreed that whilst often very good, even excellent, his films are not always likeable, or easy to watch.
So, when this title, second-hand - that I'd not heard of - cropped up at my local Cash Converters, for 99p, I did snap it up, but watching it took some time - and one false start.
Infamously anti-catholic, Buhnel again stirs up another hornet's nest, following a Mexican path on a theme that seems familiar with some Italian neo-realist directors; the relationship between the so-visible and commonplace face of "sin" - prostitutes - and the Church. In this case, it's of a rural priest, who like, Claude Raydu in Robert Bresson's 'Diary Of a Country Priest', tries to hold a cynical and generally spiteful local parish together, amongst the poverty and disease - at least spiritually.
I know many who cite Bresson's 'Diary Of...' as one of their favourite and most profound films, ever. I admit that, not being of Faith myself, it doesn't resonate personally so highly. Though Nazarin is less about this particular priest's decline in personal health, it suffers the same fate with me. However, it's well made, well acted and I can see why it's a five star film for many.
I don't think Buhnel would have been happy if everyone loved all his films - he seems to have been far too antagonistic for that and so my four stars is down more for personal taste than the film itself. The DVD transfer is good and the sound especially clear and well-toned.