A drama based on the life of Spain's mystic Saint Teresa , set in the Catholic Castilla , in the middle of the Sixteenth Century
This yarn concerns the essential story of Saint Teresa of Ávila , also called Saint Teresa of Jesús , baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada (28 March 1515 4 October 1582), she was a prominent Spanish mystic , Roman Catholic saint , Carmelite nun and author during the Counter Reformation , and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer . The film deals with the struggles against all odds to reform the Order of Carmelites in the sixteenth century Spain . She was a reformer in the Carmelite Order of her time and the movement she initiated , later joined by Saint John of the Cross , eventually led to the establishment of the Discalced Carmelites , though neither she nor John were alive when the two orders separated . The flick also concerns about her relationships to important people as Francisco de Borja , Saint Juan De La Cruz , Princess of Eboli (Maria Luz Galicia) , Father Gracián , Duchess of Alba , and Bishop of Ávila (José María Cafarell) . Teresa was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI . Her books, which include her autobiography : The Life of Teresa of Jesus and her seminal work The Interior Castle , and The Way of Perfection are an integral part of Spanish Renaissance literature as well as Christian mysticism and Christian meditation practices . At the beginning of the film Teresa , who is the daughter of a nobleman has a socialite life , has suitors (Antonio Durán) who fight for her by fencing . Later on , Teresa fascinated by accounts of the lives of the saints joins a convent administrated by the Superior Mother (Eugenia Zúffoli) seeking God and a spiritual as well as peaceful life . As Teresa entered a Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation in Ávila , 1535 , but she found herself increasingly in disharmony with the spiritual malaise prevailing at the monastery . After a period of prays and sacrifice in which she embraces a deeper devotion to the Virgin Mary as her spiritual mother , she claims that she has visions with Jesus attracting the attention of the Inquisition in times of religious pursue and Protestant Reform . In the cloister -an area where only monastics have access- , she suffered greatly from illness ; early in her sickness, she experienced periods of religious ecstasy through the use of devotional books and prays . Saint Teresa carried out mystic attitudes following the example of similar writings of medieval mystics , consisted of directions for examinations of conscience and for spiritual self-concentration and inner contemplation . She claimed that during her illness she rose from the lowest stage, "recollection", to the "devotions of silence" or even to the ¨Mysticism¨ and "devotions of ecstasy", which was one of perfect union with God . During this final stage, she said she frequently experienced a rich "blessing of tears" . She , then began to inflict various tortures and mortification of the flesh upon herself . But her confessor, the Jesuit Saint Francis Borgia (Alfredo Mayo) , reassured her of the divine inspiration of her thoughts . Teresa became firmly convinced that Jesus Christ presented himself to her in bodily form , though invisible.
This classic Spanish movie turns out to be an acceptable flick , but dated , being a spectacular portrayal of the greatest religious woman , made in enough budget but with mediocre interpretation by an excessive Aurora Bautista . This picture contains a lot of historical remarks , adding known characters of the Spain history . The film was panned by critics , suffering the extreme contempt , being really scorned ; that's why Orduña was impulsed to make an extremely religious movie in the forties style , when in the sixties the traditional habits and times had changed . The flick is spoiled by overacting , most play similarly to stage actors ; as the influence of the theatrical acting in players results to be extreme and embarrassing , specially by Aurora Bautista who gives a ridiculous performance , usually looking at horizon and declaiming silly and symbolic sentences . It packs decent cinematography in black and white by the prestigious José F. Aguayo . Atmospheric and evocative musical score by Manuel Parada.
Directed by Juán De Orduña who made a passable but dated film . Orduña was a craftsman who made a great number of epic movies in ¨carton/stone¨ , being his last one : ¨Alba De America¨ that is considered to be one of the worst super-productions of the powerful Francoist company CIFESA and it caused its fall and it went subsequently bankrupt . With director Florian Rey , Orduña formed the production company "Goya Films" . After filming the military epic "¡A Mí La Legión!" and the sentimental drama "El Frente De Los Suspiros" (1942) he specialized in comedies . Juán adapted to cinema famous novels such as : ¨Zalacaín El Aventurero¨ , ¨Cañas Y Barro¨ , ¨El Frente De Los Suspiros¨ , ¨Nobleza Baturra¨ , ¨Lola Se Va a Los Huertos¨ , being especially known for his historical renditions , praising Spanish past grandeur, a style highly favored by Franco's regime , such as : ¨Teresa De Jesús¨ , ¨La Leona De Castilla¨ , ¨Agustina De Aragón¨ and ¨Locura De Amor¨ . His most successful picture was ¨El Ultimo Cuple¨ with Sara Montiel .
Other films regarding this famous Saint are the followings : ¨Teresa Cuerpo De Cristo¨ by Ray Loriga with Paz Vega , Leonor Watling , Eusebio Poncela , Geraldine Chaplin , Manuel Morón , Francesc Garrido and ¨Teresa¨ (2015) by Jorge Dorado with Marian Alvarez , Carla Diaz , Terele Pavez , Antonio De La Torre , Aitiana Sanchez Gijón . And the best results to be the TV series ¨Teresa De Jesús¨ (1985) by Josefina Molina with Concha Velasco , Virginia Mataix , Silvia Munt , Maria Massip , Magui Mira.
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