Set in the 17th century. A convent in a small town is being visited by high-ranking Catholic official trying to exorcise the nun supposedly posessed by demons. A local priest have been burnt for creating this condition by sexual temptation of the nuns, especially the Mother superior.
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This is brilliant. Such a strong visual and political message - putting desire in the center of flesh's possession: wanting not to want as the center of faith itself. This is the kind of film that chases you with images, flashes, quotes - it ends but it doesn't stop. It perpasses the fourth wall and becomes immediately a favorite. Claps, please.
I love how movie rabbis are either happy-go-lucky, aloof types who dole out enigmatic and ultimately useless advice, or the embodiment of complete existential despair. Obviously far more entertaining than movie priests.
Despite of, or maybe because, of being agnostic, I have found that films like this produce an existential dread in me more powerful than many horror films because it has real issues in its core. File alongside Maurice Pialat's Under the Sun of Satan as an incredibly made masterpiece about the existential fear questions that exist in Christianity; now I only wished more of Kawalerowicz's work was available in the UK.
Intriguing drama with splashes of disturbing psychological horror. Kawalerowicz took a similar approach to Dreyer and his Joan of Arc, doing many close ups and trying to dive into existential issues as faith, corruption of the soul, and free will.
Masterfully crafted medieval drama - loosely based on Aldous Huxley's 'The Devils of Loudun' - tells an engrossing, thought-provoking story through powerful imagery. Superb performances and novel camerawork and cinematography make this a near-masterpiece. Its major flaw is its slow pacing - with some static shots that linger endlessly beyond having served their purpose. Despite its flaws, it is an unforgettable film.
Unbelievable Master Piece.
This is a really disturbing movie that deals with a very complex subject matter. Directed and performed brilliantly, Lucyna Winnicka delivers an unbelievable character, and Kawalerowicz works with a really aggresive, new and exceptional work with the camera and framing.
Wieslawa Otocka, as editor, makes it flow to an ending that left me speechless by its complex and brilliant execution.
The main story, concerning a histrionic nun and a masochistic priest, both possessed by a desperate need for attention and a sense of superiority (or maybe demons... idk), wasn't as delightful to me as the side stories and the scenes in the tavern and the barn, that were so rich in little macabre details, like the dirty glances revealing the villagers sordid thoughts without the need of dialogue.