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Adam, a Catholic priest who discovered his calling as a servant of God at the relatively late age of 21, now lives in a village in rural Poland working with behavioral problem teens who fight and yell abuses. He declines the advances of a young brunette named Ewa, saying he is already spoken for; however, celibacy is not the only reason for his rejection. Adam knows he desires men and that his embrace of the priesthood has been a flight from his own sexuality. When he meets Lukasz, the strange and taciturn son of a simple rural family, Adam's self-imposed abstinence becomes a heavy burden.Written by
Anonymous / edited by statmanjeff
This is a very effective, very positive and yet oddly disturbing movie about the fitful coming out of a 40ish gay priest in Poland. His name is Adam, and he looks nothing like a priest except while on duty. He's always known he's gay, but he's serious about his vocation and has stayed closeted in order to keep his vows of celibacy.
He has a special gift for helping troubled teenage boys, which his superiors value greatly. His homosexuality has never led to anything remotely inappropriate with a boy (or with a man, for that matter), but he is periodically transferred in order to keep even rumors from interfering with his very valuable ministry. Most recently he was moved from Warsaw to an isolated rural parish with a small work-home for boys on furlough from reformatories.
This is a complex movie, and trying to summarize its plot would be a disservice. It is not predictable, not typical of gay movies, of priest movies, or of any other sort of movies I can think of. It's not the story of a type of man but of THIS man. So, like any real human being, Adam is more complicated than a normal movie character, and the director does not try to make him easy to understand.
In part because it's NOT predictable, this movie is fascinating to watch, and the end is especially satisfying. The movie is disturbing not because of anything that happens, but because everyone and everything in it looks dirty.
I know that sounds superficial, but sometimes the most superficial things in life are the most distressing. Even after bathing, the characters look grimy, everything indoors is dingy, and outdoors is nothing but dust. I don't know if rural Poland really is as miserable as this movie makes it appear, or if the director was intentionally creating a disturbing ambiance for the movie.
Although it's disturbing, that ambiance adds to the complexity of the movie and enhances its effectiveness. I watched it twice; it was richer and even more satisfying the second time.
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