Presented by AFS and Cine Las Americas
Written by Hilda Hidalgo from the 1994 novel by Gabriel García Márquez
Cinematography by Marcelo Camorino
Editing by Mariana Rodríguez
Original music by Fidel Gamboa
Cast: Pablo Derqui, Eliza Triana, Jordi Dauder, Joaquín Climent
Costa Rica/Colombia, 2009, KMT Global Films, 35mm, color, 95 min.
Spanish with English subtitles
A beautiful young girl with bewitching, copper-colored hair is thought to be diabolically possessed when she survives the bite of a rabid dog in a South American seaport where her parents are among a dissolute aristocracy. Raised by her Yoruba caretakers, 13-year-old Sierva María knows about herbs and chants but is no agent of Satan. Nonetheless, unaffected by the French Rationalist movement, the Catholic Church imprisons the girl in a convent where she will have the devil “removed.” Sent to be her confessor and exorcist, Father Cayetano, an occasional student of Rationalist philosophy, inevitably falls in love with the girl and tries to find a way to help her out of this dilemma created by an ignorant Church hierarchy. Costa Rican filmmaker Hilda Hidalgo has created a deliberately paced, formally beautiful recreation of an era and a mindset still beleaguered by demons and irrational explanations for phenomena.