A film from Mexico is Ranjan's recommendation for the week
Mexican maestro Arturo Ripstein unveils the horror of the Spanish Inquisition in 16th century Mexico, depicted through the arrest and torture of a Jewish family who has already converted to Catholicism but secretly carry on their Jewish tradition. A superb piece of cinema, the film scores heavily on its production designing – the dungeons in which the family is imprisoned and the torture details; the make-up – you are repulsed by the dirt on the faces of the prisoners; and the performances of all its actors. Apart from its well-constructed dramatic plot, the film also serves as an extremely valuable piece of documentation on the elaborate process of ‘auto-da-fe’ that quite often involved burning people at the stakes in public.
Check out THE HOLY OFFICE (1974) and other films by Arturo Ripstein, all playing on MUBI.
Ranjan Das is a Mumbai based filmmaker and faculty.