You Should Rent #19

The Crime of Padre Amaro – Carlos Carrera (2002)

How could it be that The Crime of Padre Amaro, a controversial film, is also one of Mexico’s best selling films. It seems whenever the Catholic Church tries to ban a film, it simply increases its sales. The film takes a deeper look into attractions & infatuations, desires & obedience one needs that plague Padre Amaro (played by Gael García Bernal) and his interest Amelia (played by Ana Claudia Talacon).

In the film Padre Amaro mentions that celibacy should be a choice for those who decide to join the priesthood, to which Father Benito declares blasphemous. Father Benito we realize has an ongoing affair with the housekeeper. Padre Amaro’s statement foreshadows the course of action he decides to take with Amelia. In the end his actions lead them to an abortion clinic on the outskirts of town.

Towards the end of the film we notice that Padre Amaro, treats himself as an exception to the rule. His lies are told without the slightest hint of guilt as he continues his way up the priesthood ranks. You should rent this film because underneath all the sex, cover ups, and desires – the film provides great commentary on the Church as a whole.

Find it here on Amazon.

You Should Rent #18

Hotel Rwanda - Terry George (2004)

Hotel Rwanda is based on the true story of hotelier Paul Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle, and his unique story on on survival during the 1994 genocide. This political thriller opens with propaganda playing on the radio, with the host being very insistent on the extinction of "cockroaches." The unrest between the Hutus and Tutsis has been long standing, both groups have at one point or another been the oppressed and the other the oppressor due to ethnic tensions. After realizing the radio is how the interahamwe spread their intent we soon begin to prick our ears for more information and worry for Paul, who has come into care for over 1,000 refugees, along with his family, at his hotel.

To me, this film doesn't squarely focus on the genocide, but focuses on Paul and Colonel Oliver actions towards it. There isn't very much gore or blood on screen but the film is still hard to watch at times since I feel bits of hopelessness for the characters. Colonel Oliver also feels hopeless and blames racism for the U.N. and the Western countries for not wanting to put an end to this carnage.

You should rent this film because it's about a single person's courage and their ability to act during such horrid circumstances. It's a testament that we all have the same ability to change history, just like Paul.

Find it here on Amazon.

You Should Rent #17

What Have I Done to Deserve This? - Pedro Almodóvar (1984)

Almodóvar's fourth film is a definite tribute to Neorealism, except it has a twist. He allows us into Gloria's world, a common working class housewife, that is her urban hell. Anything and everything in her life that can go wrong does. Her dysfunctional family consists of eccentric characters involved in a spiderweb of plots. The storyline will excite you, surprise you, and leave you besides yourself in giggles.

I forgot to mention, it's a black comedy.

You should rent this film and watch Almodóvar's take on Neorealism in Madrid. Besides, why not watch something that will make you laugh?

Find it here on Amazon.