20 April 2008 | Red-125
Who is the better Christian?
The Tonto Woman (2007) was directed by Daniel Barber, and is based on a short story by Elmore Leonard. This is an extraordinary short film, and, quite properly, was nominated for an Oscar.
Charlotte Asprey plays Sarah Isham--a beautiful woman in the 19th Century west who was kidnapped by Indians, and was horribly mutilated with tattoos (?scars) around her mouth. Her husband, who loved her, has spent 11 years trying to find her. Once he finds her, he's horrified by her appearance and by the fact that she is no longer his pure, virginal wife. Her husband has isolated Sarah in a cabin far from his ranch, where she's ogled by the ranch hands and visited by no one.
Francesco Quinn plays Ruben Vega, a Mexican-American cattle rustler who comes across Sarah's cabin, falls in love with her, and then has to decide what is the best way to help her.
The movie begins and ends in a small Catholic church, where the priest, a good enough man and sincere churchman, hears Vega's confession. Clearly, Vega, the thief, is the better Christian.
We saw this film in a theater. I think it will work on a small screen, but the emptiness of the dry countryside surrounding Sarah's cabin may not be as evident.
P.S. Pay close attention to the statue of the Virgin.