Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The Crime of Padre Amaro
Hey there. I checked out this movie over the weekend with my wife. My wife told me so much about it and every now then she would bring it up and since we're part of the Netflix family, we decided to get it so that I can watch it. Despite the fact that the movie is in Spanish, with English subtitles, I found myself very involved with the film. Because of all the scandals that we hear in regards to our local churches, you can imagine that this film is not very popular with the catholic church.
The film starts off with newly ordained priest, Amaro, sent to his first church to study under Padre Benito. Benito considers himself an ogre and implies to Padre Amaro that that is the reason the bishop sent him there is to whip him into shape. With a new pair of eyes now overseeing the small town, Padre Amaro observes that Padre Benito is sleeping with an owner of a restaurant. She is known as the Sanguera. The Sanguera has a daughter named Amelia, and she is deeply devoted to the church. Since Amelia is having troubles with her boyfriend, Ruben, she turns to her church for comfort and guidance.
She soon falls in love with Padre Amaro and when Ruben writes an article uncovering corruption of the church, by accepting drug money to fund a hospital and offering weapons in guerrilla warfare, Amelia breaks off with Ruben and pursues Padre Amaro. After the two acknowledges their feelings towards each other, the priest tells Amelia that they need to be careful about their love. He then lies to the sexton, telling him that he needs the sexton's spare room to teach Amelia the ways to become a nun. The sexton is astounded by the news but agrees to leave the room to the priest. Padre Amaro then, lies to Padre Benito by telling him that Amelia has offered her services as a catechism teacher to the sexton's mentally ill daughter. Padre Benito states that Amelia will be wasting her time but is soon convinced that even the mentally ill need god in their lives.
Padre Amaro and Amelia meet frequently in the sexton's room for a little bit of bible study... NOT!!!! lol They're in there getting on, all hot and steamy status. Soon after Amelia tells Amaro that she is pregnant. She is distraught that Padre Amaro will not consider leaving the church to marry her. He makes it very clear that he will not sacrifice his studies of the church to just leave. Because of this, Amelia considers getting back with Ruben, to "save her baby." When that doesn't happen, Padre Amaro goes to plan B.
Padre Amaro goes to the local "bruja" for help, since he overheard that she knows a "doctor". The bruja knows right away what is going on and asks if Amelia is pregnant, which Padre Amaro denies. He hands her money and the bruja says that she will contact him. Soon after she gives him the info and the three of them head off to a "hospital" where abortions are done. During the abortion, the doctors can't stop the bleeding and when the bruja rushes out to tell Padre Amaro, he then rushes in and takes Amelia. He places her in the truck and he speeds off to a hospital. Amelia, then, dies in the truck due to heavy blood loss.
The next scene shows the city's mayor and wife getting ready for mass. They speak about the "poor girl" that died. The mayor's wife then gives the "facts" about Amelia. According to her, Ruben got Amelia pregnant and he took Amelia to get an abortion. Padre Amaro, being the saint that he is, found out about this and rushed to Amelia's aid. As he rushed her to a hospital, she died.
During the funeral, Padre Amaro speaks of confessions and gives out his mass. Padre Benito, sitting on a wheelchair due to a medical emergency, listens and watches with disgust. Shortly after, he turns around and wheels himself out of the church. The last shot is the camera showing Padre Amaro giving his mass, standing over Amelia's coffin.
A very intriguing film and you guys should definitely check it out. The tone of the film gradually shifts from that of a good guy, feel good movie, to one of, what a selfish asshole. He not only put himself above the woman that he claimed he loved, but he ultimately gave her life away to save his ass. It's debatable if he even shows remorse during the last scenes. Since we are not sure if the church fabricated the whole thing of it was all Padre Amaro's doing, but the fact that Padre Benito, mind you the "ogre", looked on with such disgust, may imply that Padre Amaro may have gone to the church to help cover up his mess. Powerful movie, my friends. You need to catch this one.