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23 September 2002 | talltale-1
8
| A gorgeous canvas of Spain in the 1930s that encompasses EVERYTHING.
This account of a series of "sightings" of the Virgin Mary that took place in Spain in the 1930s looks at the events and their aftermath from the personal, political, social, cultural, religious and economic perspective--an extraordinary achievement, by any standard. That the film is also beautifully written, acted and photographed makes it a joy to sit through, even while viewers are tossed about on a sea of conflicting information that they will need to sort out for themselves. The effect is bracing, to say the least, and the ironies here are funny, sad and sometimes shocking. This film gave me more enjoyment while I was sitting through it--and more ideas to ponder afterward--than anything I've seen in the past several years. VISIONARIOS (VISIONARIES) offers writer/director (Manuel Gutierrez Aragon) working at the height of his craft--and, for my money, at the height of ANY current writer/director. I wish this film were available for all to see. So far, I believe, it has only been shown in the US at special screenings of new Spanish films in New York and Los Angeles. Perhaps one of the more brave and enterprising cable channels (Sundance, Starz) will take a chance on this one. The film will need to be letterboxed, however; visual composition this stunning should not be compromised.

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