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Thursday, October 27, 2016

'The Apostate' DVD: Renouncing Faith Requires Intense Devotion

Breaking Glass Pictures travels to Spain for its latest art-house release. The October 25, 2016 Glass DVD release of the 2015 Italian comedy "The Apostate" gives viewers the option of watching this selection from the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival with or without subtitles.

The titular renouncer of faith is 20-something quirky guy Gonzalo Tamayo; his simple reason for wanting to break up with the Catholic Church is that he never consented to his Baptism and disagrees with the acts and the beliefs of the church. One of the best recurring jokes is that church officials keep asserting that Tamayo is not basing his request on the current beliefs of their organization.

Scenes of Tamayo battling a court-style battle with the church bureaucracy are interspersed with glimpses of his (often nude) daily activities. These include committing one of the worst sins in the Good Book, tutoring (and bonding with) the outcast boy in the apartment downstairs form his, and contending with the valid disappointment of his parents. These scenes consists of current, remembered, and surreal imagined incidents.

All of this provides a context for learning about the the rigorous process that the Catholic Church requires to allow someone to rescind his or her contract with God. The symbolism includes having your Baptismal record removed from the church documents and walking backwards out of the church.

Much of the controversy in the case of Tamayo surrounds a conflict related to the nature of Baptismal records. The determination of this is one deciding point regarding whether said documentation can be relinquished to the person to whom it pertains.

Writer/Tamayo portrayor Alvaro Ogalla creates a form of happy (and highly just) ending for his character. Director Frederico Veiroj artfully stages it an equally amusing and creepy manner that is very true to the Holy Spirit of the film.

The bonus features include two additional full-length films by Veirjo. Acne from 2008 tells the coming-of-age tale of a 13 year-old boy who has lost his innocence but is striving for his first kiss. The less universal but equally relevant for film lovers 2010 movie "A Useful Life" has a theater owner adjusting to the closing of the establishment at which he worked for 25 years.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Apostate" is welcome to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.