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During the Carnival in the historical site of Pelourinho (Salvador, Bahia, Brazil), we follow the lives of the tenants of a falling-to-pieces tenement house who try to get by using creativity, irony, humor and music.
Michael is a U.S. journalist who works for a Brazilian newspaper. One day he is put in charge of interviewing Father Louis Stephen, a famed catholic missionary who helps the needy in the jungles of Brazil. Yet he has one problem: the Father has rarely ever given an interview. However, Michael decides that he will be the first to have interviewed the Father personally, and goes on a journey to the center of Brazil, in search of the priest. Michael will soon know how hard it can be to get an interview, and that the Father's apparent media-shyness has deeper implications than he thought.. Written by
This drama about a journalist obsessively seeking to interview a "liberation theology" style of priest in Brazil held my interest to the last minute, despite its overall failings. A great film score by Phillip Glass supports the film tremendously, as does some painterly cinematography.
Patrick Bachau has great presence and credibility as Father Lewis. (This was a fascinating contrast to the only other role I knew him in, the sleazy Vic of The Rapture.)
Henry Czerny is annoyingly intense, in the front half of the film and the reasons for his character, Michael's evident hatred for and obsession with Father Lewis are never fully explored. His quest nonetheless drew me in, and I began fervently wishing for the spiritual epiphany he seems destined for but apparently does not reach. The theme of "God using us without our even knowing it" builds more successfully than the suspenseful story-line.
Many small roles are played strongly. A "good watch".
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