Director: Maria Luisa Bemberg
Forbidden love is the subject of this stirring import from Argentina, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1984 and helped break films from that country into the American spotlight. Based on a true story, Maria Luisa Bemberg’s stirring epic tells the story of two lovers in mid-nineteenth century Argentina who defy the church and the government in order to be together and wind up being executed for the crime of sacrilege. Camila O’Gorman is a young, wealthy woman whose family has had its share of scandal in the past but events get set into a whirlwind of cause and effect when she falls in love with a handsome Jesuit priest named Ladislao Gutierrez. Bemberg’s film will strike a chord with viewers drawn to epic romances a la The Thorn Birds but her film does stand on its own—a hit in its homeland, it holds up well today although some scenes feel a bit overly dramatic and too influenced by Wuthering Heights. Still, romance lovers will sigh and rejoice in its beautiful structure.