Review: ‘Nazarin’

A priest unfrocks himself and takes to the road to live on alms when he is implicated by the law for harboring a prostitute after she had killed another one. However, he is followed in his pilgrimage by the escaped prostitute and a woman who has been left by a lover. Film [from the novel by Benito Perez Galdos] details their wanderings and attempts to help humanity and their constant rebuffs until the priest realizes one must love humanity first before one can be a human being or a priest.

A priest unfrocks himself and takes to the road to live on alms when he is implicated by the law for harboring a prostitute after she had killed another one. However, he is followed in his pilgrimage by the escaped prostitute and a woman who has been left by a lover. Film [from the novel by Benito Perez Galdos] details their wanderings and attempts to help humanity and their constant rebuffs until the priest realizes one must love humanity first before one can be a human being or a priest.

Film abounds in a profound feeling for man. There are grotesque scenes. One involves a dwarf who falls in love with the prostie. There are also scenes of a plague.

This is a difficult but rewarding pic. Acting is excellent, as are technical aspects. Director Luis Bunuel’s mastery of his theme and subject make this an unusual offbeater.

Nazarin

Mexico

Production

Ponce. Director Luis Bunuel; Producer Manuel Barbachano Ponce; Screenplay Luis Bunuel, Julio Alejandro, Emilio Carballido; Camera Gabriel Figueroa; Editor Carlos Savage; Music [none]; Art Director Edward Fitzgerald

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1959. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Francisco Rabal Marga Lopez Rita Macedo Jesus Fernandez Ignacio Lopez Tarso Ofelia Guilmain

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