×

The Devil In The Holy Water

Good-natured docu -- sure to get good positioning at gay fests and wherever first-person nonfiction is favored -- narrows question of Catholic acceptance of homosexuality down to two "competing" events: a World Gay Pride Day being held in Rome and the Vatican's Jubilee.

Good-natured docu — sure to get good positioning at gay fests and wherever first-person nonfiction is favored — narrows question of Catholic acceptance of homosexuality down to two “competing” events: a World Gay Pride Day being held in Rome and the Vatican’s Jubilee. As the simultaneous occasions approach, Montreal-based helmer Joe Balass roams Rome’s streets, asking tourists, clerics and interested parties for their opinions.

Roughly shot vidpic is as insightful for depiction of Vatican protocol and rituals — including public weeping when the Pope utters his scripted pronouncements — as for what anyone says. With the nuns and priests Balass stops on the street or interviews in their offices, an elaborately polite “love the sinner, hate the sin” stonewalling prevails, although there is some vituperation from a few killer-fruit types the helmer hones in on. Most direct are the Pride Day participants, including articulate lesbian activist Imma Battaglia, who demands her place in heaven alongside all the other Catholics. (The parade itself is given perfunctory treatment.) There is also running commentary from ordinary observers, including a gay couple who amusingly finish “Devil” by squabbling like sitcom characters.

The Devil In The Holy Water

Canada

  • Production: A Compass Prods. (Montreal) production. Produced by Joe Balass. Directed, written by Joe Balass.
  • Crew: Camera (color, Beta), Balass, Giampaolo Marzi, Marjo Ferwerda, Andrei Khabad; editors, Balass, Marzi, Rolland Pollack, Dennis Day; music, Marzi, Balass, Domenico Modugno. Reviewed on videocassette at Victoria Film Festival, Feb. 10, 2002. English, French and Italian dialogue. Running time: 94 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Imma Battaglia, Cardinal Roger Etchengary, Elisabeth Ohlson.
  • Music By: