Sunday, September 03, 2006

Two Mexican films on Catholic fathers

I saw in the weekend these two contrasting portrayal of two fathers, one comically and the other tragically.
El Padrecito ( little father ) by Cantinflas and
El crimen del padre Amaro(the crime of Father Amaro) of Gael Garcia Bernal

In El Padrecito, Cantinflas( Mario Morena ) is at his usual comical best.It is the story of a young father who tries innovative non-holy approches to solve problems of his flock. He fights the bull when the Matador does not turn up for the show. He outsmarts the local hood who terrorises the community. This is one of the best films of Cantinflas.

The crime of father Amaro is about a newly ordained priest who succumbs to the temptation of the body and falls in love with a 16-year old girl who has unholy fantasies in the middle of her holy pursuits. The combination of holy rituals and the rituals of courting and sex is amusing. She gets pregnant and wants to marry but the priest is married only to the church. He takes her for an abortion, where she dies. The girl is the daughter of the mistress of the older father. There is another priest who joins the people's movement against the drug lords and is ex-communicated.
The film is based on a 19th century novel of Esa de Queiros of Mexico.
The controversy created by the obviously angry reaction of the Mexican church made the movie the highest money spinner in Mexico.

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