The Club : Film Review – The London Economic

By Leslie Byron Pitt @Afrofilmviewer

Contrary to the beliefs of many militant, western Atheists. The ease of separating one’s self from the durable arms of religion, are not as easy as simply snapping out of it. An estimated 65% of the Chilean population recognise themselves as Catholic creed. It’s been over 90 years the church was separated from state in Chile, yet that is a tear drop in the vast bank that religion runs through. The roots of its legacy are long. They penetrate deep. As do the sins.

While stepping aside from the criticisms of Pinochet that have marked his previous works (No, Tony Manero), Pablo Larraín’s latest feature tackles the Catholic Church with a similar caustic wit and bleak provocation. Unlike the likes of Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods and Men which observes how faith can enrich those in the clergy, even in the face of severe adversity. Larrain’s film gives a more complex reading. Sin is rife. God is lost and inner torment festers like an old wound.

A crisis councillor heads to a small beach town to investigate the happenings of a tragic incident. He seeks to modernise the behaviour of the Catholic church. The excommunicated priests under investigation are weary of the situation, as their dismissal to the town has allowed them to repress their past offences.

Painted in matted washed out colours, framed with clear lens distortion and edited with an off kilter rhythm, The Club’s aesthetic delicately compliments its cynical viewpoint and subtly cutting performances. Starting out with smatterings of sardonic humour, before pushing the viewer into a questionable and uncomfortable bind. Can one commit a smaller sin to absolve your greater past ones? We know this to be wrong, yet The Club highlights this, not just as something that lies in his film, but as a dark analogy and question we should confront in our own lives, when we obverse and query our dealings with faith. Meet the new Church. Same as the old Church.

The Club was on as a part of The London Film Festival. It is released into cinemas March 25th 2016.



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