It is the 16th century. The Catholic Church has expanded throughout the new continent, Nueva Espana. New monasteries are being built, but the missionaries' Holy cities are threatened by forces unknown: the earth shakes, buildings collapse, nothing is spared. The devout seek protection by strengthening their faith, some even willing to sacrifice themselves. One hundred years later, poverty forces young Angelica into God's service against her will. Rebellious, Angelica tries to escape into the outside world, closed behind the convent's doors, sealed by her vows. As punishment, Angelica is confined to her cell where she is haunted by the spirit of Sister Luciana. The ghost, a nun entombed one hundred years in the convent walls, compels Angelica to free her trapped soul. To release Luciana, Angelica must persuade the nuns to leave the convent and pray in the open, but to leave the cloister is expressly forbidden. Unable to convince her superiors that her visions are nothing more than ... Written by
Produced at the AFI Conservatory in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Fine Arts Degree or Certificate of Completion. Erika Grediaga, AFI Directing Fellow Ismael Ahmed, AFI Editing Fellow James W. Thompson Jr., AFI Production Design Fellow Jitsu Toyoda, AFI Cinematography Fellow José Carlos Mangual, AFI Producing Fellow See more »
I recently saw this terrific short film at the San Diego Latino Film Festival and I was totally impressed by it. How many surprises a little short film like this can give? A lot, believe me! The very first scene is shocking: I won't tell what happens but it sets so well a claustrophobic atmosphere which last until the end credits. The story
set during the colonial period in Mexico - is interesting: a young nun
(Claudia Soberon) is haunted by the ghost of Sor Luciana, a nun who was buried alive between the walls of the convent 100 years before. No one seems to believe her: the Mother Superior (Carol Abney) thinks she is possessed by the Devil and calls the Holy Office of Inquisition. The only salvation for the poor girl seems to be the escape from the convent...
A paragraph at the end reveals that the well-designed script by writer-director Erika Grediaga is based on several legends about the monastic life in Latin America. The way Grediaga involved those legends into a disturbing and fascinating ghost story is excellent: the scenes that involves the spirit (as the dream sequence in the outside) are terrifying and helmer Grediaga successfully handles the suspense throughout the entire story. The performances are generally good as the material: the impressive cast includes the strong performances by Claudia Soberon, Carol Abney, Dennis Deal, Katira Alvarez and Rick Simon.
The young and talented Soberon delivers a convincingly vulnerable portrayal as the nun haunted by the ghost. She gives her best to create an empathic and desperate character (she is excellent in the scene when she's crying on the bed, as she realize there's no way out).
Carol Abney as the Mother Superior has a great opportunity to show her talents: she doesn't confine her multi-faced character into the classical cliche of the evil mother superior. She gives true life to a well-conceived character with passion and energy.
Co-stars Dennis Deal, Rick Simon and Katira Alvarez haven't much screen time but they support the story with strong performances: Deal is throughly believable as Brother Matheo Bonilla, Simon offers an emotional, conflicting and moving portrayal and Alvarez is terrifying as requested. Tech credits are fine: a wonderful score, a good lensing and editing work. The make-up department did a great job with the ghost and the costume / production designers were able to put the audience into the Colonial Period. It's a must see!
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