Desert Within (2008)





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Critic Reviews for Desert Within

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Audience Reviews for Desert Within


I'm really surprised that there were no reviews at all (community OR critics) on this movie, so I'll happily be the first. I saw this movie at the 2009 Atlanta Film Festival. I chose it simply because the premise sounded interesting. Set against the backdrop of the Cristero War, it tells the story of Elias, a man of profound and bottomless religious faith. His wife has an unfortunate accident, and dies giving birth to their seventh child. Because the act of seeking out a priest leads the Federales to his village, killing everyone there, the priest curses Elias' family, past and present. From there, Elias moves himself and his family into the barren desert. There, he seeks out atonement from his god by building a church to honor his deity. Many people would interpret this film as a testament to the depth of faith that people can have. I viewed this film as an exhibition (and a not very far-fetched one, at that) at the madness that religion can and often does drive people to, as well as the crowd-control element it contains. Elias' emotional decay drives this dark film, and his children bear the brunt of his harrowing descent into madness. Shot in Mexico with an all-Hispanic cast, this film is entirely subtitled. Many people don't like to "read their movies", and to a certain extent, I get that. Still, I found this movie to be a fascinating character study, and in some ways, a social one. It's definitely a movie that deserves an audience, and I hope people will give this film a chance.

Jeff Wiley
Jeff Wiley

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