In a mental institution the patients see themselves as people like Jesus, Lázaro, Marta, Maria, Adão, Eve, Sonia, Raskolnikov, Aliosha e Ivan Karamasov, a Philosopher, a Profet, Santa Teresa d'Avila, reciting the Divine Comedy.
Manoel de Oliveira
Maria de Medeiros,
Luís Miguel Cintra
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"Our Lady of the Turks" is a film that is hard to categorize. Then again Carmelo Bene's films are hard to define. Often beautiful, sometimes boring, somewhat ego-centric and sometimes bitingly humorous. The film starts off as a sort of mocumentary about Ontranto, Italy. This is where the Turks tried to invade 100 years before; killing the Saracens. Then we are treated to Bene in front of the camera in a series of bizarre, surreal images and comical mishaps. Bene's character is taunted by the Madonna. Wherever he goes this beautiful virgin Mary is sure to follow, making his life a real headache. She is symbolic of man's desire and dreams. This is a film where visuals overpower story or lack there of. At first I didn't know how to feel about the film. But to be honest, it was quite a journey with it's bizarre experimental style. Somewhat frustrating but altogether breathtaking. There's simply nothing like it. If you enjoy Fellini or even experimental films by Stan Brakhage; you may find this film interesting. Not that I didn't enjoy the film, but I felt it was 20 minutes too long. My opinion might change after a second or third viewing.
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