The Crime of Padre Amaro [DVD] [2002]

Oscar-nominated and controversial, The Crime of Padre Amaro comes to DVD in a decent, though far from flashy, package. The image, framed at 1.85:1 and anamorphic, is a fine representation. Colors are well balanced, but not showy, portraying the Mexican locations in a very realistic fashion. Detail is also quite good, as is skin tone, which stands out strongly. The 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks, both in Spanish and English, are basically centered up front, with a moment or two of separation at appropriate times. Dialogue is clear and distinguishable. This disc hardly has a wealth of supplements. On the positive side, it does have a commentary track (in Spanish, with English subtitles, which is something that can't be said for the DVD of Y Tu Mamá También) by director Carlos Carrera and star Gael García Bernal. Both men ramble on and on, and do offer some interesting tidbits, but often it's difficult to distinguish the two, and Bernal certainly doesn't contribute as much as the director. Beyond that is a press kit featurette about the film that doesn't offer much, a very brief poster gallery, and two trailers for this film and Talk to Her.
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Special Features

  • Digitally mastered audio & anamorphic video
  • Widescreen presentation
  • Audio: Spanish 5.1 (Dolby Digital), English 5.1 (Dolby Digital)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Director and actor commentary
  • Making-of featurette
  • Photo gallery
  • Poster explorations
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Animated menus
  • Scene selections
  • Closed Captioned


The Crime of Padre Amaro
A priest discovers the path of virtue can be steep, and temptation can demand a heavy price, in this controversial drama from Mexico. Father Amaro (Gael Garcia Bernal) is a young Catholic priest whose mentor, the Bishop (Ernesto Gomez Cruz), expects great things from him. However, like all priests, Amaro must first be assigned where he is needed most, which leads him to the small rural community of Los Reyes, where Amaro is to assist Father Benito (Sancho Gracia). To his shock, Amaro discovers Benito is hardly following Holy Law -- he's having an affair with Sanjuanera (Angelica Aragon), a woman who runs a local restaurant, and he's been helping a drug dealer launder his profits in exchange for large donations to the church, which Benito feels is justified as the funds are being used to build a hospital and orphanage for the poor. Amaro is disgusted with Benito's actions, but he soon discovers his own weaknesses when he falls in love with Amelia (Ana Claudia Talancon), Sanjuanera's teenage daughter. As Amelia finds herself falling for Amaro, she breaks off her relationship with Ruben (Andres Montiel), a reporter. Ruben responds by publishing a story which reveals the details of Benito's dealings with the drug dealers; Benito in turn tries to lay the blame at the feet of noble Father Natalio (Damian Alcazar), whose work with local peasants has been wrongly interpreted as supporting armed revolutionary factions. As Amaro tries desperately to distance himself from the growing scandal, he receives shocking news from Amelia when he learns she's pregnant with his child. The Crime of Father Amaro's portrayal of corruption within the Catholic Church led to an outcry from Catholic organizations, both in Mexico and the United States, where they attempted to organize a boycott of the film. However, the tactic failed in Mexico, where the controversy helped to boost ticket sales, making it the highest-grossing Mexican film ever in its native country. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Damián Alcázar
    Damián Alcázar - Father Natalio
  • Angélica Aragón
    Angélica Aragón - La Sanjuanera
  • Luisa Huertas
    Luisa Huertas - Dionisia
  • Ernesto Gómez Cruz
    Ernesto Gómez Cruz - Bishop
  • Image coming soon
    Gaston Melo - Martin
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