Being no strict scripture reading I'm unsure if this is a literal Sainthood origin story or a mock-up of one, but would contest that it warrants sincerity as a Catholic film. Albeit with an environmental bent, as the holiness referenced at the start frequently appears in proximity to nature, an eternal truth that owls are not what they seem. The spell of this film is the aural + visual divinity it finds in nature.
Rodrigues conjures up a really immersing sensorial experience for the viewer and as much I don't care for the religious aspects of the story, it didn't bother me at all. What really threw me out of it again and again was the completely ineptitude of each and every actor involved in this picture. Whenever there was any kind of human interaction it instantly made me want to turn off the tv. again and again.
A transgressive, transfixing, terrifying journey into the innermost reaches of the soul by way of Portugal. This is interesting spiritual filmmaking and there is something to enjoy formally even if you are not steeped in Catholic history (I am not). Rodrigues succeeds at displaying the humanity of Christ on screen in a way that many have tried and failed.
Starts out like a beautifully peaceful meditation on nature and wanders into a morally ambiguous quagmire. Without knowing that it was a reinterpretation of Saint Anthony I felt like I was watching an externalised psychic battle of the homoerotic strive for acceptance under the weight of religious persecution. A little sniff of Stranger by the Lake as well. 3 stars.
Bizarre and mysterious, sensual, erotic, puzzling and disturbing, Rodrigues takes us again on an intimate quest where he blends religious myths with his own soul-searching fantasies and spiritual desires. This quest results in a visually stunning work, where the boundaries between the actual and the surreal, history and mythology disappear.
A movie that demands you follow its references studiously, and it's only blandly suggestive if you can't. What plays out on the surface is a mildly attractive erotic mysticism based on the beauty of its star, Paul Hamy. Could be worth looking at more closely, but maybe not.