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It is rare to find spirituality as one of the themes that a contemporary Western director chooses explore but this is a refreshing change. Film opens during the Second World War where a German destroyer escort seizes a small barge that transports coal. The crew, two Russians, hide under piles of coal. One, stoker Anatoli, is forced at gun point to give up the other man then to kill Tikhon, his mate and Captain only to be left to die in an explosion. Anatoli survives and is rescued by monks then time elapses to 1976. He now works in the monastery as the stoker of cloister boiler room and conveys a wheelbarrow with coal each day. He sleeps on the heap of coal and even plans to bury himself in the carbon box as his coffin. His strangeness confuse his fellow monks and some call him a prankster. But in each such wild trick there is sense to the madness and unworldly insight. People arrive on the island from all around the region, seeking Anatoli as a Holy man capable of wise advice and able to curse sickness. The film is shot in beautiful widescreen - an absolutely breathtaking cinematography.
Not as gritty or powerful as City of God but still a decent watch. Instead of focusing on the gangs as in City of God, it focuses on two 18 year old boys. The film is similar to City of God, but with a more light-hearted feel to it. The film also has similar cinematography
If there is one film that I am sure will make it to every "Films of the last decade" list, it is this. Based in a ghetto in Rio De Janeiro, the film shocked the world with its brutal portrayal of drugs, gang wars and children killing children. The film depicts three generations of gangs and is often reminiscent of Scorsese's Goodfellas but is far more violent and uncompromising.
In the early 60s, two boys - Ignacio and Enrique - discover love, movies and fear in a Christian school. Father Manolo, the school principal and Literature teacher, both witnesses and takes part in these discoveries. The three characters come against one another twice again, in the late 70s and in 1980. These meetings are set to change the life and death of some of them. In this film the gay element -which exists in all the Almodòvar's movies- comes back, stronger than in his last films. But above all there's the child rape problem, this is one of the most delicate themes the Spanish director has ever talked about. And naturally "Mala educacion" is one of his most tragic films. Whereas in the previous movies Almodòvar always let a place for hope, with this film it's not the case. That's why it is a very difficult tale to watch.