There's a good idea at work in filmmakers Verónica Castro and Helena Inverno's short debut feature, following the rehearsal and the performance of an Easter Passion play in the North of Portugal with the participation of inmates from the Bragança prison. Purely observational, without any voiceover, commentary, establishing information or interviews, that idea never really coalesces into a fully-formed film: there is little or no insight on who these inmates are, where they're coming from and why do they accept to be part of the play, the directors' approach focussing exclusively on a record of the rehearsals contextualised by the daily rhythms of the prison, and of part of the performance. The result is somewhat disheartening: the nicely observed, leisurely look at the rhythms of life inside the four walls never really gels with the amateur theatrics of the Passion rehearsals and performances, as if you're watching two disconnected films trying to become a single one but never managing the feat. There can be a good film in here, but it's not this slight, unconvincing one.

Directors/editors, Verónica Castro, Helena Inverno; camera (colour), Ms. Inverno; producers, Luís Urbano, Sandro Aguilar (O Som e a Fúria and RTP), Portugal, 2012, 71 minutes.
     Screened: IndieLisboa 2012 advance screener, Lisbon, April 16th 2012. 


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