Acclaimed Chilean director of Pablo Larraín (Tony Manero, Post Mortem, No) won Berlin’s Grand Jury Prize with this mordant morality tale set in a sleepy Chilean coastal town. Four middle-aged men and their housekeeper – in truth, defrocked priests and a nun – find their quiet lives suddenly disrupted by the arrival of a new lodger, who turns out to be a live-in representative of a ‘new church’ seemingly keen to clean up its abusive past.
The performances are uniformly great, while Larraín’s customarily murky visuals mirror the motives of all concerned. Note, however, that the film’s savage wit is not purely anti-clerical; once again, Larraín critiques a Chilean culture of complacency, concealment and conspiracy where wrongdoers feel they can (and should) get away with almost anything. Stark, fearless and Bible-black.