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How to live a perfect life in a corrupted world?
Galina24 March 2006
Octavio Paz, Mexican poet, writer, and diplomat, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990, said about "Nazarin": "Nazarin follows the great tradition of mad Spaniards originated by Cervantes. His madness consists in taking seriously great ideas and trying to live accordingly". A humble and spiritual priest (Francisco Rabal in a wonderful performance) attempts to live by the principles of Christianity but is cast out of his church for helping a local prostitute by giving her a shelter after she had committed a murder. Nazarin wanders the country roads of the turn of the 20th-century Mexico, offering help to poor and begging for food. His two followers, a murderous prostitute Andara and her sister Beatriz who is a failed suicide desperately searching for love, consider him saint but it does not prevent him from hatred and humiliation from both the church and the people he meets on the road. He ends up beaten in prison and begins to question his faith for not be able to forgive his attacker.

Bunuel tells the story in a manner of a Christian parable masterfully and uniquely combining admiration and irony for the main character and strong criticism of formal religion and hypocrisy. The film is simple and profound as well as beautiful, ironic, and heartbreaking.

I consider Bunuel one of the best filmmakers ever. I've seen twenty of his films and they all belong to the different periods of his life but they have in common his magic touch, the masterful combination of gritty realism and surrealism, his curiosity, his inquisitive mind, his sense of humor, and his dark and shining fantasies. With great pleasure I am adding little seen and almost unknown but amazingly candid and touching surrealistic tragic-comedy "Nazarin" to the list of my favorite films.
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Masterful film about morality and the church
Howard Schumann14 April 2003
In his films about morality and the church such as Viridiana, director Luis Bunuel has attacked the self-deception of those whose "pure" Christianity comes into conflict with the demands of society. In the masterful 1958 film Nazarin, Father Nazario (Francisco Rabal), a Catholic Priest, tries to imitate Christ by living a life of self-denial. He surrounds himself with prostitutes, beggars, thieves, and dwarfs and freely shares his meager resources with others but finds that his actions only produce distressing results. Based on the novel by Benito Perez Galdos, the film is about a gentle but sanctimonious priest in rural Mexico in 1900.

Naively unconcerned with his own best interests, he provides refuge to Andara (Rita Macedo), a prostitute who has just killed another street girl in a knife fight. When he also befriends Andara's sister Beatriz (Marga Lopez), suspicions arise among his superiors about his behavior. Forced to leave the church, he remains steadfast in his beliefs, going on the road dressed as a peasant and begging for alms. The sister's soon join him as disciples in his saintly pilgrimage after a dying girl regains her health as a result of his prayers. Nazarin's best intentions prove fruitless, however. He agrees to work on a road crew for food but in so doing creates a labor dispute that leads to violence. His guidance is again rejected when he volunteers to help a woman dying of the plague, asking her to picture what Heaven looks like. In spite of the priest's equation of sexual desire with sin, all she wants is one more visit from her husband and lover. Arrested and thrown into prison with Andara, Nazarin's life becomes more and more Christ-like in its agony. He is beaten by a thug and begins to question his faith when he is unable to forgive his assailant.

Is Father Nazario an impractical fool trying to live by unrealistic ideals, or is he a modern-day Christ, sentenced by a soulless world to endure a similar fate? Bunuel sends us mixed messages. He attacks the hypocrisy of the church for not living up to the teachings of Christ and seems to admire the priest for his rebellion against accepted social norms. Yet ultimately Nazario is just a sad and forlorn human being. Condemned by the church as a "nonconforming rebel", scorned by a society that does not understand his passion, he carries his "crown of thorns" to an uncertain end, perhaps realizing at last that his self-satisfied idealism did not include understanding the true nature of his humanity.
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A man of God
jotix1007 May 2005
"Nazarin" directed by Luis Bunuel presents an extraordinary view of religion in Mexico. As written by the director and Julio Alejandro, his notable collaborator, this was a film that put Mexican cinema in the international map after receiving the Grand Prix in Cannes that year. It's a disturbing film because Mr. Bunuel delves deep into what's wrong with the church.

Nazarin, by all reckoning, is a saint. This young priest is seen living a life of poverty in a seedy pension of a city. He doesn't have enough for himself, but he doesn't mind parting with a coin when a beggar appears by his window asking for help. At the same time, he takes into his small room a prostitute that has been hurt in a fight with another woman. Andara, the woman repays his kindness by burning the room and the whole building! Nazarin is seen taking to the countryside begging for food. Andara and Beatriz, two prostitutes from his old town follow him. Nazarin's life parallels that of Jesus. In fact, this saintly figure makes a case for humility.

Of course,Mr. Bunuel had no religion in mind when he and Mr. Alejandro took it upon themselves to create this film. It's ironic how Spain welcomed him after this film was released because they saw it as showing Christian qualities, when in reality, this is an acerbic satire on the catholic church and its ministers.

Francisco Rabal, the Spanish actor, makes a wonderful Nazarin. This was one of his best roles. Mr. Rabal worked extensively in his native country, but also in Mexico and Argentina. Rita Macedo, as Andara, is also excellent. Marga Lopez also makes a valuable contribution with her portrayal of Beatriz.

A great film by one of the cinema's master film makers: Luis Bunuel.
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An essential piece in the Buñuel puzzle
birthdaynoodle6 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I love the absurdity and biting humor of Buñuel's surrealist films (such as "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" and "The Exterminating Angel", to name two). Other, earlier works (like "The Forgotten Ones", about juvenile delinquents from a marginal neighborhood in Mexico) are more serious and provide a strong social message.

However, I believe it is "Nazarin" which most successfully shoots for the heart of the viewer. While it's true that it's brimming with irony, it nevertheless reveals an aspect of Buñuel which would appear to be intrigued by the beauty and solemnity of the spiritual quest. Here, while the director (quite typically) throws countless jabs at the Catholic Church, he also appears to show, surprisingly, a sense of admiration for genuine Christian thought and its practice of selfless love.

"What?? Luis Buñuel unabashedly praising a Jesus-like figure??" I always thought of him as a completely cynical artist without a trace of faith in human virtue... that is, until I watched "Nazarin". My appreciation is that he satirically exposes the difficulty of following Christ's example in a society infested with meanness, ignorance and sin; but he also presents the hero, Father Nazario, as quite the beacon of light amidst a sea of darkness. Without a doubt, by the end of the film I was looking up to him and not down on him!

Some would argue that Father Nazario's doubts regarding his faith point to the loss of his saintly values. (Alas, if he can't do good in this world, who can?) But I would say that this "flaw", his frustration, precisely makes his character all the more heroic, because it shows how human he is and how challenging his struggle within must be. And who says the priest couldn't eventually emerge from that "dark night" and regain his confidence? Perhaps we've only been presented with a difficult part of his spiritual journey. The elegant, open ending allows us to imagine ourselves what the final outcome of the story might be like.

I recognize in Buñuel the aggressive, self-professed atheist endowed with brilliant wit and social awareness; but after having watched "Nazarin", I also sense from him a certain warmth, a depth and maturity that's not so evident in his other work.

For the sake of contrast, I strongly recommend watching afterward his short film "Simon of the Desert" (also made in Mexico, several years later). It deals with a similar subject matter – the surrender of the ego in the face of temptation –, only it does so in a hysterically funny and totally irreverent style.
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Another enigmatic film by Luis Bunuel
Andres Cardenas10 August 2005
When you look at Mexico's best movies you will more than likely find that the Photography was performed by Gabriel Figueroa. He is recognized in the world as one of the best that have ever existed. His master control of the cameras gave an added asset to the movies he was part of. If added to his participation we add the direction of Luis Bunuel, you will never find such a pair of aces anywhere else in the world. This story, Nazarin, was written by Spain's greatest writer besides Miguel de Cervantes(Don Quijote de la Mancha). The story in itself is superb: Nazarin a priest that lives by his beliefs tries to live a very Christian life, but as always there are people that do not accept this. He wanders through many places preaching his Christianity but finding, most of the time, people that do not accept him. But besides the splendid story, it is always interesting to try to interpret the enigmatic messages that Bunuel sends us throughout the picture in scenes that make you shiver.
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Religion Don Quixote
dbdumonteil3 August 2001
Nazarin is some kind of saint,he wants to live in life exactly how Christ taught man to do.But it's too late:now the Catholic Church is in the hands of a wealthy bourgeoisie,the bishops live in luxury and don't give a damn about the poor and the sick.That's why our hero can't follow the way his hierarchy asks him to follow.So he divests himself of everything,and on his way to purity,he's joined by some kind of Mary Magdelene and a woman who's attracted by him sexually (the scene between this girl and her fiancé is telling).In Spain (it was the late fifties),they thought Nazarin was a Christian movie!Knowing Luis Bunuel,it was downright incongruous:all his work is anticlerical to a fault.Comparing Nazarin and his "holy women" to Jesus is a nonsense.On Nazarin's way,only brambles and couch grass grow.His attempt at helping working men on the road is a failure,he's chased out as a strike-breaker.All his words amount to nothing.At the end of the journey,he's arrested and offered a pineapple by a woman(Bunuelian sexual symbol). Thanks to "Nazarin" ,Bunuel was allowed to return to Spain (where the censors had not got a clue ) and to direct "Viridiana".
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Bunuel's most moving film
marmotrich7 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
A blackly comic tale of a down-trodden priest, Nazarin showcases the economy that Luis Bunuel was able to achieve in being able to tell a deeply humanist fable with a minimum of fuss. As an output from his Mexican era of film making, it was an invaluable talent to possess, with little money and extremely tight schedules. Nazarin, however, surpasses many of Bunuel's previous Mexican films in terms of the acting (Francisco Rabal is excellent), narrative and theme.

The theme, interestingly, is something that was explored again in Viridiana, made three years later in Spain. It concerns the individual's struggle for humanity and altruism amongst a society that rejects any notion of virtue. Father Nazarin, however, is portrayed more sympathetically than Sister Viridiana. Whereas the latter seems to choose charity because she wishes to atone for her (perceived) sins, Nazarin's whole existence and reason for being seems to be to help others, whether they (or we) like it or not. The film's last scenes, in which he casts doubt on his behaviour and, in a split second, has to choose between the life he has been leading or the conventional life that is expected of a priest, are so emotional because they concern his moral integrity and we are never quite sure whether it remains intact or not.

This is a remarkable film and I would urge anyone interested in classic cinema to seek it out. It is one of Bunuel's most moving films, and encapsulates many of his obsessions: frustrated desire, mad love, religious hypocrisy etc. In my view 'Nazarin' is second only to 'The Exterminating Angel', in terms of his Mexican movies, and is certainly near the top of the list of Bunuel's total filmic output.
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Great film by Buñuel, thought provoking.
Andres Salama7 April 2007
Spanish director Luis Buñuel career spanned almost 50 years, from 1929 to 1977. Arguably, his best films were those he made during his exile in Mexico - from the late forties to the early 60s. There he had to deal with very cheap budgets, and work in an industry interested mainly in churning commercial movies to unsophisticated audiences, yet he somehow managed to make interesting, thought provoking movies that have stand the test of time. This movie is based on a novel by Spanish author Benito Perez Galdos - and the adaptation is quite faithful, even if the setting is now early 20th century Mexico instead of early 20th century Spain. The protagonist, Nazarin, is a priest who tries to live a life that is as faithful as it can be to the one prescribed by Christ. The question many would ask is whether such endeavor would be possible, without incurring in the hostility, incomprehension and mockery of your fellow human beings. As it happens, he suffers a lot of indignities, yet he remains stubborn (until the controversial final shot) to this objective. I think Buñuel wanted to show Nazarin as a somewhat ridiculous figure, but perhaps inadvertently, his stubbornness (at least to this viewer) comes out as admirable. In any case, a great film.
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An Ironic Criticism to the Hypocrisy of Church and Society
Claudio Carvalho1 February 2011
In a poor and backward community in Mexico, the Catholic Priest Nazario (Francisco Rabal) follows the Christian principles and lives a humble life without possessions in an old hostel owned by Chanfa (Ofelia Guilmáin) and used by prostitutes. When the prostitute Andara (Rita Macedo) kills he coworker Camilla that had stolen her buttons of shells, she is wounded and seeks shelter with the priest. Meanwhile, the disillusioned dweller of the hostel Beatriz (Marga López) is lured by her boyfriend Pinto (Noé Murayama) and tries to commit suicide. However, Chanfa convinces her to return to her village. When the police discover that Andara is hidden in the room of Nazario, she flees and Nazario undresses his cassock and wanders in the poor countryside, helping the destitute and begging for food. When Nazario reaches a very poor village, he meets Beatriz that is living with Andara and asks him to help a child that is very ill. Nazario prays for the child and on the next morning she is healed. Andara and Beatriz believe he is a saint and become his followers. Along their journey, Nazario and Andara are arrested and the priest is humiliated and beaten by common people and by the church.

"Nazarin" is an ironic criticism to the hypocrisy of church and society by Luis Buñuel. Francisco Rabal has an awesome performance in the role of a priest that lives in accordance with the principle of the catholic apostolic roman church and is betrayed, humiliated and hated by the people that he helps and by the church that he serves. One of my favorite sequences is when Nazario is protected by a criminal in jail and the man concludes that Nazario is a good man, he is a murderer and they are in the same place. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Nazarin"
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Maybe I'll never "get" Bunuel, but I can still see that Nazarin is an excellent film
zetes4 February 2002
Luis Bunuel has always been a filmmaker whose work was obscure to me. My first experience with him was The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeosie, often considered his greatest work, with which I became so frustrated and bored that I eventually shut the tape off. Likewise Belle de Jour, which is almost certainly his best known film and also generally considered one of his many masterpieces, didn't interest me very much at all. I didn't hate it like I did Discreet, but I didn't like it. Third, I saw L'Age d'Or. Finally, I had gotten somewhere. Fourth, Los Olvidados, also good. Still, neither L'Age d'Or nor Los Olvidados blew me away. Great films, but not masterpieces.

Nazarin is my fifth Bunuel, and I like it just a tad more than those other two. It is about a priest from Spain now in Mexico who refuses to live in the kind of luxury most priests live in. He wants to be more like Jesus, leading the meekest life possible. He's also willing to forgive everyone for anything, and to suffer without protest. I'm pretty sure Bunuel does not sympathize with the character, and sees him as rather self-righteous. However, I only assume that because of my knowledge of the director, whose most famous quotation is "Thank God, I'm still an atheist," which he apparently said in an interview over this very film (I get this information from John Baxter's book about Bunuel, if you're interested). The interviewer who dragged those words from Bunuel's mouth must have been himself confused about Nazarin. One who was more predisposed to believe in religious conviction, who also knows nothing about Bunuel, might see the priest as a heroic figure. This is especially true if that viewer has his/her own criticisms of organized religion. The priest may be somewhat self-righteous, but he seems to be basically a good man. When he harbors a violent prostitute in his room in order to protect her (and, presumably, to save her soul), people begin to find out and assume that their relationship is sexual. His superiors assume the same and punish him for it. Later on, he suffers even worse punishments from clerics.
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Never think that is a contradiction, its spiritual.
Cristian12 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The topic of religion in Buñuel films is a point that one, as an eater of films, as an eater of art or as a person need to analyze hardly. One can see to a satirical Buñuel in "La Voie Lactée", "Un Chien Andalou" or in "L'Age d'Or". Is very hard and effective in its critic, but when you have seen this and then you see a movie like "Nazarin", after you see this work you begin to be questioned about its author. And much have questioned about what seems to be a contradiction for Buñuel thinks, but is better not called in this way, i think that there's not any contradiction in its work, only that Buñuel religion point of view is very diverse as unique in films.

This beautiful film is based on the novel of Benito Perez Galdós, which told us the story of Father Nazario, who lived a humble, simple life dedicated to God and to help everyone. He lived in a simple and poor region. There lived too Beatriz, who is an abused and abandoned wife. She don't find any sense of her life without her violent, macho man. She have a kind of repulse to him. In the other side is Andara, one of the towns prostitutes. Father Nazario has been stolen again, he blames to Andara's cousin. Andara hear this and try to fight without success with the priest, who don't believe in violence. That night, Andara find that her cousin is actually a thief, she have stole her bellboys. Andara fights with her cousin with terrible consequences. With this, Andara search mercy from the priest. Nazario decides to help her, knowing well that this could be against his church, obviously this thing going to have some consequences. Since here, Nazario going to be a pilgrim. Without nothing, even without shoes, but with spirit and faith. But Andara and Beatriz want to be with he, and be like he, to serve God.

If is the sweetest Buñuel film that i have seen so far, is too the most spiritual. Is clear here that the thing that most confuse people with the contradiction is that here, we don't see a Buñuel against the power of church, we see a Buñuel whose film is about church but not in the typical - and great - satirical way. Whethever like it is, i don't think that the right word is contradiction, actually i find it pleasant and well done and in spite of contain such religious issues (As his "Voie Lactée") i found it more a spiritual film but that don't try to touch in diversity the Catholic religion as maybe he touch, and laugh of it in another films. "Nazarin" is of father Nazario and its perspective front God and the same religion but all of this is at the end, analyzed in the spiritual life of this man.

The other two women are, not a contrast, but as very well another two perspectives of faith. First we have Beatriz, the mistreated woman, that lose all the faith in life, first with her husband and then with a little girl who was in her family. This little girl was very sick. At side of her was too Andara, the prostitute who run of the justice. In the family of the child, just religious women, there a big pain, but faith becomes in father Nazario when he arrives with nothing to this town. He bless the child, a say later she is fine. The priest want go on walking, but Beatriz and Andara have recovered the faith in life and want to dedicate their lives to God with father Nazario. After some complains, father Nazario decide to be with them, discovering with some things until the end how he feels about faith, God, religion and the person in necessity, the people who must request to charity to survive. This last issue then must be noted as one possible explanation for the pineapple ending. This ending we listen the drums (Similar to that in "L'Age d'Or) and a father Nazario, walking over asking about this things, when he refuse the fruit at the first time and at the end decide to receive it as a symbol of necessity or maybe, as an answer for its spiritual road that begin being priest. Meanwhile, the two women must take away of the father, Andara for its crime (Beautiful scene where she thanks a man who helps father Nazario in jail and then she damn the man who hit the priest in jail) and Beatriz because she prefer be with her macho man, in spite that he treat her bad, just because she don't accept that she fall in loved with the priest. Father Nazario - and here is maybe the unique place in film to critic church- walk to contradict the church, the religion that he serves.

Father Nazario is that then, is a (Soft for much, but not for me) critic for some thing in religion (Father Nazario helping a women who is guilty of a crime, of a sin) but most of all is one of Buñuel analysis of faith and life, and he really got it, with a beautiful, tender, sweet and unforgettable film, that is, without a doubt, one of his best.

*Sorry for the mistakes...well, if there any.
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Nazarin is an excellent film about religion.
FilmCriticLalitRao10 August 2009
Luis Bunuel's "Nazarin" will always be remembered as a great film because it is absolutely honest in its presentation of comical assault on religion.It is one of those outstanding films which must be shown to all people especially young children in order to familiarize them with the notions of good and bad,sacred and evil.The toughest question asked by "Nazarin" is about the strengths and weaknesses of organized religion.It has been tackled by involving numerous ordinary people who are not at all above petty affairs in their mundane lives especially sins.Bunuel scores tremendously by showing us that various questions related to class differences deserve frank,honest and reliable answers. Nazarin appears credible as it has been made in a light,comical vein.This is the sole reason why it can be said that the story of an ordinary priest appears absolutely true to life to all audiences.It is amazing how Bunuel approaches quest for true love issue in his film. This black & white gem was shot marvelously by Gabriel Figueroa,one of Luis Bunuel's favorite cameraman.Film critic Lalit Rao saw "Nazarin" at Trivandrum,India during 13th International Film Festival of Kerala 2009."Nazarin" was introduced by eminent Indian cinema personality Mr.P.K.Nair as part of a special package called "50 years ago".This is a film which should be with any discerning DVD collector.
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Bunuel and Christ
gavin694214 September 2017
A priest (Francisco Rabal) in a poor community lives a charitable life in accordance with his religious principles, but many others do not return the favor.

There are two things that really stood out for me with this title. One, if I am not mistaken, Bunuel had a rocky relationship with Catholicism. Yet, here the priest is the hero, and in no facetious or false way. He truly lives a good life, a devout life, and is helpful to his fellow man. He is an inspiration to us all.

Second, Francisco Rabal is amazing and really drives this film. He starred in three films directed by Buñuel - "Nazarín", of course, but then later "Viridiana" (1961) and "Belle de jour" (1967). Interestingly, William Friedkin thought of Rabal for the villain of "The French Connection" (1971). However, he could not remember the name of "that Spanish actor". Mistakenly, his staff hired another Spanish actor, Fernando Rey. Friedkin discovered that Rabal did not speak English or French, so he decided to keep Rey. Rabal had previously worked with Rey in "Viridiana". Rabal did, however, work with Friedkin in the much less successful but Academy Award-nominated cult classic "Sorcerer" (1977), a remake of "The Wages of Fear" (1953).
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about faith
Kirpianuscus24 May 2016
about faith as only manner to live. about the struggle to be Christian. all in the web of Bunuel's cruel and subtle irony. a remarkable film for the image of a way. for the crumbs from Don Quixote. for the science to explore social expectations and the self protection of many. grace full, courageous, cruel, cold, the same Bunuel who looking the decomposition of illusions. a man. and two woman. Mexican villages. the message. the sacrifice. and the shadow of doubt. it is more than a religious film. like each film of Bunuel, it represents perfect support for reflection. about life, people and faith's expressions. about ideal. and about its high price. nothing new, at the first sigh. but useful. for define yourself.
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Bunuel and God.
mifunesamurai8 October 1999
A priest attempts to live as close to the word of God but gets shafted for it by the peasants, the church and the authorities. Only a prostitute and a woman in search of love follow his steps. It has a powerful message but delivered in a tame way because of the politics of the time.
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The best of Bunuel in Mexico
psagray24 August 2009
This film is a fable about the lack of solidarity and love. It is inspired by the homonyms novel (1895) of Benito Perez Galdos, adapted by Julio Alejandro. Was filmed in Mexico in a period of time according to what Buñuel called "the dictatorship of the three weeks". Won the Jury Award in Cannes and other awards. Produced by Manuel Barbancho Ponce, premiered at the end of 1958 (Mexico).

The action takes place in Mexico around 1910. Tells the story of Nazarín (Francisco Rabal), young priest, which holds the Christian charity with extreme delivery. Moved his residence to a shelter next to the meson of Chanfa, frequented by prostitutes, thieves, rogue and pimps. Want closer to the virtue. Known to Beatriz (Marga Lopez), kind and piqued, that leaves the boyfriend because you want prostitute. Also known to Andara (Rita Macedo), prostitute, quarrelsome,and good heart. The film is a fable about how it would be the life of Jesus of Nazareth, if it is alive today, the conflicts that would create, the confrontation that would have with the Church, the rejection would cause and its condemnation to a life of exclusion, humiliation and passion. The charity of Nazarín instead of provoking positive effects, reactions rose aggressive, angry and threatening. , Faced with the church hierarchy, which expelled from the priesthood immoral conduct. The pious people believe that their behavior conceals a dissolute life and depraved. His humility infuriate the vain, that require it repeated samples of the submission and subjugation. The film is full of symbolism, so the taste of Bunuel; but it is Filmed with that economy what he called "the dictatorship of the three weeks", which brings you to roll with few planes, in which does not lack its usual inserts (the knife of a thief, his legs, the booties...).

This film is the first encounter with Francisco Rabal, (the end of the movie, one of the most enigmatic of all his filmography, is shocking). The interpretation of Francisco Rabal, first of 3 collaborations with Bunuel, is magnificent. The music is low, and plays a captivating sheet music original Rodolfo Halfter, to which adds the waltz "God never dies" (Macedonian Alcalá) and the redouble funeral drums of Calanda (Aragon). The photography in black and white accentuates the arid landscape and the aspect of miserable scenarios. The direct Luis Bunuel reaches in this movie the top of his Mexican production.
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Harebrained suddenly? I mean the Vatican.
shu-fen12 September 2007
My third Buñuel movie so far, far much easier to understand than the French productions "Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie" or "Belle de jour" where imagination and reality intercept each other in higher intervals… ah, my neurons keep dancing in whirpool while watching them, taxing anyway.

After seeing it, the very first question burst out from my mouth was: International Catholic Cinema Office Award? It's a satire laughing at the ineffectiveness and cowardice of the Church and its discrimination and hostility towards women's validity and value to the Church (or God's Kingdom)! Father Nazario doesn't exist in our days on Earth... Why? Because he is Jesus. Jesus is now in heaven. No worker of God, in flesh and blood would or to be more exactly is able to behave, believe, think, act and live like he does. HOLY Nazario is a huge contrast to the hypocrisy of the Church (represented by his superior) who only focus onto the status and the trouble-free life.

I like this movie, especially the very last scene. A village woman gives Father Nazario a fruit, encouraging him to go on. It's a confirmation from the mouth of simple and plain people to what he is doing regardless the hierarchy or the "canonized" or "orthodox" establishment, the Church... touching.
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Like Christ said but how can one do like Christ in this life?
raskimono22 November 2002
Nazarin by the acclaimed surrealist Bunuel is ovbviously an attack on the Catholic Church and its loss of values. It is not a visual film and I think it would have played better on the stage. Bunuel takes us through this man, the nazarene that lives like Christ lived; a true follower i.e. in poverty, and without a care for property and what the next day bringeth. Some might call it a parallel to Christ's story but any follower and practitioner of the word, life should be like Christ in a way. But in essence Bunuel also inquires into the ogle of man's selfishness and need to sin and how goodness may save us all. It is a bold statement to make that may enliven, or recite to memory the movie for some. Truth, be told the Nazarene is also selfish because he gives without wanting in return or asking for it. His selfishness is his folly and the two women who follow him represent the sides of a coin;with the same face on each side. Lots of people represent sides of a coin in this movie, all with both faces the same. But the movie isn't exactly memorable once it ends and one could attack many of its ethical perforations and effusions within the movie's own doctrine. Not top-notch Bunuel but a "surreal" dream sequence that bunuel stages whithin where the message of the movie is framed and is worth noting for it shows you the capability of the director, Bunuel.
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Good Bunuel
Michael_Elliott7 March 2008
Nazarin (1958)

*** (out of 4)

Luis Bunuel's "religious" film about a good hearted priest (Francisco Rabal) who does anything he can to help sinners but this might cause his fall from grace. I don't normally mind Bunuel's overbearing religious stances but this film got on my nerves. Technically speaking it's well made and has a good performance by Rabal but it goes too over the top with its speeches about good and evil. The priest is just showed way too good and everyone else is just showed way too bad. The good vs. bad aspect just seems too false for me to take the film too serious.
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drawn flower
Armand2 March 2013
a Christian film. at first sigh. A speech about faith, goodness, charity, sacrifice, innocence. illustration for Imitatio Cristi. only problem - it is a Bunuel film. and this fact is present at each step. the images from Goya, the darkness of Romano-Catholic priests, the fall of Emaus way, the cruelty as basic ingredient. so, it is not a Crist portrait but only the testimony about vain fight against world. Rabal character may be another prince Mishkin. a new lamb in a small circle. because, for its director, the film remains only ticket for return in Spain. a form of E pur si muove. nothing else. the virtues of father Nazarin are only drawn flowers. and if it remains a Christian film, it is public is touching and strange. one of a great director works. and beautiful occasion for Francisco Rabal to do an admirable role.
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In Cash Converters?
Tim Kidner29 August 2012
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 likable, 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.
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