One of Portugal’s most prominent and recognizable performers, Luís Miguel Cintra (a frequent player in the films of Manoel de Oliveira) reads the Gospel of John as images of natural splendor fill the screen. Providing no context outside of the gospel itself and letting the gravel and rhythm of Cintra’s voice take center stage, Pinto and Leonel find a soulful and familiar yet mysterious juxtaposition of words and images. In their directors’ statement, Pinto and Leonel write: “We are not theologians, nor do we belong to any religion, but just like everyone else, from those who call themselves Christians to those who declare themselves to be atheists and ‘free thinkers,’ we are all irrevocably steeped in twenty centuries of clericalism and Christian culture.”

  • Directed By Joaquim Pinto, Nuno Leonel
  • 2013
  • Portugal
  • DCP
  • 128 minutes