In World War II, the widow Barny sees the Italian soldiers arriving in occupied Saint Bernard while walking to her job. Barny lives with her daughter and works correcting tests and feels a great attraction toward her boss Sabine. When the Germans arrive, Barny sends her half-Jewish daughter to live in a farm in the countryside and finds that Sabine's brother has been arrested and sent to a concentration camp. The atheist Barny decides to baptize her daughter to protect her and chooses priest Léon Morin to discuss with him themes related to religion and Catholicism and Léon lends books to her. Barny converts to the Catholicism and becomes closer to Léon, feeling an unrequited desire for him.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I discovered this one recently in my local market on a double DVD with a film called "Les Grandes Gueules". It was interesting to see Belmondo in the rôle of a priest and I thought his dialogue and ideas were very convincing indeed ! Emanuelle Riva, I know less but she put in a good performance too. The outcome, nevertheless, is predictable and, as is often the case in French films unfortunately, ends on a pessimistic note ! Although the film is in black and white and from 1961, picture and sound quality are reasonably good. I was most pleased to see Belmondo in this rôle which changes somewhat from stuntman and the usual commissaires de police ! I am moderately religious so was interested in the theme and ideas of the film. That said, on the other hand, to someone who is anti-religion, heathen or atheist, the film might indeed appear uninteresting and boring !
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