Movie Information

In Brief: Possibly Luis Buñuel's most accomplished Mexican film, Nazarin is a complex work about the impracticality -- even impossibility -- of living a life by the strict example of Jesus Christ, as depicted in the efforts of one priest who tries to do just that, but finds himself constantly at odds with the Church and society.
Genre: Allegorical Drama
Director: Luis Buñuel
Starring: Francisco Rabal, Marga López, Rita Macedo, Jesús Fernández, Noé Murayama
Rated: NR

When Nazarin last screened locally, I wrote in part that it was “perhaps the most accomplished and difficult of Luis Buñuel’s Mexican films—not in the least because it’s a film that can be read in two distinctly different ways, depending on one’s predisposition concerning the material. The film is either a critique of Christianity, or a critique on the impossibility of Christianity in the modern world. The truth is actually somewhere in the middle, but given Buñuel’s standard take on the follies of religion and his frequent claims of atheism, it would seem more likely to lean toward the former.” At this point, I would add that it’s worth noting that Buñuel’s claim of atheist status was always followed by “thank God,” so make of that what you will. The complete review is here:

Classic World Cinema by the Courtyard Gallery will present Nazarin at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 13, at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library). Info: 273-3332,


About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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