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A rather odd story about a very strange man! It certainly does keep your attention!
This is a very weird biography of a super-weird priest (at least by today's standards), Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney. He was a saintly priest in the town of Ars during the first part of the 19th century. It's based, at times, on his writings and often the narrator quotes the man. It describes him in mostly positive terms--living a life of service, humility, prayer, fasting and sacrifice. He also was a supreme legalist--preaching that many of the normal behaviors of the congregation were evil. His legalism, at first, alienated him from the local Christians and they slowly began working to destroy him. But, because Vianney was so good (?), his great example and frequent self-flagellation (literal, not figurative lashings), folks began to feel guilty of their actions and began pouring into the church to the confessional. There, Vianney would often spend 10-12 hours a day taking confessions! In some ways, a very admirable guy and the narrator seems to take that tact. But many viewers today will get stuck on how severely Vianney beat himself and his legalism. Regardless, the film is never dull and is well made...but odd.
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