Jay Allen Sanford 10:25 a.m., May 22
The Holy Innocents
A very level view of the impoverished Extremadura area of Spain, still under Franco. It is a view of social inegality ("We're here to serve" is the peasants' motto) characterized more by chagrin than by anger. The camera is stolid and steady, and the look and pace of the depicted way of life are totally convincing. The narrative, however, is rather desultory and diffuse, divided as it is into four sections, each titled with the name of one of the principal characters. The first couple of these do not seem to be particularly focussed on their ostensible subjects (or on any other); the last couple seem very much so. Comparisons have been made to the Tavianis' Padre Padrone, though these needn't be taken very much further than the old half-wit character (Francisco Rabal, startlingly decayed from his matinee-idol looks in things like Viridiana and Hand in the Trap) who makes a morning ritual of peeing on his hands to keep them from chapping. 1985.
— Duncan Shepherd
- Rated PG