A city in the Andes, the 17th century: Dona Maria Francisca's (Mila Joya) parents
contriguted much of their wealth to the church, and it paid (for the
church), because they were the richest landowners of the region. Now they
are dead, though, and Dona Maria Francisca is not willing to donate more
than is absolutely due. Now this is a blow for inquisitor Don Francisco
(Beto Lopez L), who has been relying on these voluntary donations - so he
tries to find some dirt on Dona Maria Francisca to put her on trial and
strip her of all her earthly possessions in the process. And Don Francisco
doesn't have to look for long, because Dona Maria Francisca lives with a
Lutheran, Mariana (Amy Hesketh), which is a big no-no, and they seem to be
in a lesbian relationship, something unheard of back in the day.
charges are based on a minor incident, when a few local women tried to
bully Mariana, but Maria Francisca came to her rescue. Several bystanders
said there was nothing unusual about this, but the local women, driven by
greed, jealousy, superstitions, self-righteousness and simple ignorance,
are more than eager to blow the thing out of proportions, and before they
know it, Mariana is labelled a witch, and Maria Francisca is said to be
possessed by a demon. The two of them are dragged to the dungeon, stripped
of all their clothing, and viciously tortured, they are whipped,
suspended, put on the Spanish Horse and the rack, Mariana is raped before
Maria Francisca's very eyes, her body is examined for marks of the devil
with a sharp instrument and branded. Eventually, Maria Francisca can't
bear seeing her lover tortured anymore, and she wills in to sign a
confession ... nothing but a blank paper, with the inquisition filling out
the charges later ...
here to open the Spoiler Pop-up!
pretty powerful and disturbing movie: Disturbing because the film doesn't
really hold back in its many torture scenes, some of which are less than
easy to stomach, but powerful because despite all the torture, the film
manages to tell a rich story full of interesting characters, it manages to
make the love between the two tortured girls who go through hell together
rather than betraying one another feelable, and the direction
(successfully) aims for atmosphere rather than sleaze.
To put it
shortly, a very nice, well-made film. Recommended - but for above reasons
probably not for everybody.
Oh, and if my review at all got you
interested, you may want to get the movie from here: http://movies.vermeerworks.com