Sous le soleil de Satan (1987) is a French movie. Maurice Pialat has directed this movie. Gérard Depardieu,Sandrine Bonnaire,Maurice Pialat,Alain Artur are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1987. Sous le soleil de Satan (1987) is considered one of the best Drama,Fantasy movie in India and around the world.
A priest stuck in a rural congregation and burdened with his overwrought spirituality, finds purpose in a troubled woman accused of murder.
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I'm not quite sure what people mean when they say this film is "difficult". On the surface, the film has a very straightforward storyline of a priest (played brilliantly and movingly by Depardieu) struggling with his own demons that materialise internally and externally. From this basic premise the film can be explored from several key standpoints to obtain real insights into subjects such as the power/source of faith, the relationship between thought/belief and one's relationship to the world we inhabit. Moreover, the questioning employed by Pialat and Depardieu means that the path of thought through these issues is profound, intense and disturbing. The film provokes the intellect constantly and I could understand that if there was nothing more to the film, one might say that "is that it?" What takes this film much further is the emotional undercurrent - both understated and abyssal, the stunning cinematography and restrained direction. These factors combine to create a complete cinematic experience. One scene stands out in this respect: we watch the priest wander the countryside in a daze and he pauses on the side of a hill, lush with spring grass. Depardieu looks up, eyes searching for insight, an answer, a response. In a brilliant stroke of luck, passing clouds obscure the sun and Depardieu instinctively internalises this shifting light with a simultaneous passing of emotion portrayed through his face and posture. We watch both the internal shifting cloud of emotion and the changing light create a charge and intensity that is rarely seen in cinema. There is an element of the `unknowable' in this scene that still moves me, even after many viewings. I also enjoy making comparison between this film and Dreyer's "Das Wort" (The Word), my favourite of Dreyer's works which has some common theme's, explored from different perspectives. A truly great film, worthy of the Palme D'or it won.
I saw the original french version and i must admit dialogues were challenging for me at times. On the background of early 1900's rural France, the movie revolves around the spiritual dilemma of a young priest ( what's the real meaning of service?) under the guidance of a dean, who soon starts to suspect his pupil might be sort of saint...a fool...or both. Pialat explores the thin line behind folly and sainthood. It's all a gray area where shades of gray detract from the meaning of both light & darkness. Overall, not a "viewer's" movie...little to see. Dialogues are difficult, and at times intricate; there are no conventional emotions, no plot spins. The "plot" is not really such one...there are subplots, such as a young girl with many lovers ( gets pregnant by one, has sex with another while dreaming of reaching Paris to become the mistress of a MP, etc )...there is another subplot about a dying child and peasants' devotion bordering superstition... i wanted to watch this because i wanted to watch another movie by Pialat...his style may not entertain everybody the same way, though. Someone makes a point about Bonnaire being no "attractive" lass and here i have to agree ( she's not "ugly", yet not attractive as well). The point, however, is that (see the other Pialat's movie "à nos amours" where Bonnaire stars again ) that proves the director's dedication to portraying "real" people within reasonable circumstances, without Hollywood gimmicks and porn stars wanna-be's eager to show some skin ( i always think: skin is OK, but then got for true porn). I can also guess translations & adaptations may have resulted in a mess.
Wonderful! Fascinating! Bernanos captured with an obvious anti-clerical twist from Pialat. A cult-movie for art-movies amateurs... If you have seen other Pialat's films, you understand the progression of his art. Very honest film that shakes your bones to the core. Sandrine Bonnaire is just perfect and Depardieu's calm and open acting works very well with the character. A dark movie at its best! This is a well-deserved Golden Palm from the 1987 Cannes Festival, handed by Yves Montand, as president of the Jury. What a scandal it was -- giving the palm to an outcast like Pialat. History will remember that Cannes, on its 50th anniversary, tried and succeeded on promoting true art in films.
Bernanos and Pialat. a meeting who becomes mixture of nuances from the both universes. a film for readers in more measure because it seems be a kind of labyrinth. a film for Maurice Pialat fans because his mark is key of strange, almost confuse work. a film about faith, sin and Catholicism. with the shadows imposed by a great French writer and with two actors - Bonnaire and Depardieu - who reveals the delicacy and darkness of a circle without common rules.Pialat himself does a special role. result - almost a poem. a film as a question. that fact does it not the most inspired choice for many. but it may not be reduced as few beautiful scenes or at good acting. so, it is an invitation to discover the book for understand the bitter , cold sense of story.
When you are not religious, watching this movie becomes more of a chore than anything. I did go all the way to the end just out of curiosity. The ability to stimulate my curiosity is what made me give it 5 stars. And true, it's well played, well shot, true also that the restraint fits well considering the topic. But... you've got to be a total devout to believe in the miracle of God giving life back to the boy, just because this priest asks for it. Why did he take it in the first place? Anyway, all of this doesn't make any sense in the end. Yes Depardieu is a great actor, yes yes and yes, all of this movie is well made... but the topic ... all those grownup men concentrating on such a huge nonsense? I just can't understand that.