Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sexo Por Compasion|
Actors: Elisabeth Margoni, Álex Angulo, Pilar Bardem, Juan Carlos Colombo, Mariola Fuentes
Director: Laura Mañá
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Dolores is a mature and kind woman whose husband abandons her because he can?t stand her uncanny generosity. Desperate to get her husband back, she devotes her life to works of charity, which results in her "soothing" all... more »
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A Creative Little Film That Tackles Philosophical Issues of
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 07/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'Sexo por compasión' (COMPASSIONATE SEX) is a rare little film created in 2000 by Spanish director and writer Laura Mañá that dares to address controversial issues of marital fidelity, the 'oldest profession in the world', the impotence of a Catholic priest in holding his community together, and the irresistible importance of physical discourse in mending misconceptions and misunderstandings. Quite a challenge taking on all of these topics, but Laura Mañá has the skills to pull it off with the use of 'magical realism' and alluring cinematic knowledge and techniques. The final product is a joy!
The setting is a small village (either in Spain or Mexico, we are not told exactly) on the verge of dying due to the bland boredom and blanket sadness of the town folk, the lack of children being born and in general due to a languorous malaise. The film is shot not in black and white but varying shades of gray. Dolores (Elisabeth Margoni) is an overweight childless woman obsessed with doing good deeds for others, a fact that drives her husband Manolo (José Sancho) berserk, threatening that if Dolores is unable to come up with an act that demands his forgiveness he will abandon her. Dolores seeks advice from the village priest (Juan Carlos Colombo) in confessional, but the haughty padre is angered by the fact that Dolores daily visits the confessional with nothing to confess. He tells her to go out and sin and then he will be able to hear her confession!
Manolo leaves and the devastated Dolores is encouraged to move into the tavern owned by Floren (Mariola Fuentes) and with the loving advice of her friends she hears that the town is dying because the married couples are depressed. The sensitive Dolores hears from both the men and the women and under the pseudonym of Lolita, she invites the husbands to her new bed for free advice, consensual sex and enrichment. Lolita has discovered the source of the town's sadness and soon has slept with every man and keeps her free nurturing going while the women of the village marvel at how their husbands have changed for the better. At this point the town becomes alive, lovely, flowers grow, etc and the film is now in color.
Seeing the changes that have occurred drives the priest to build a cross and perform a ritual crucifixion! The women find Manolo and tell him how the town has changed and why - and the fact that all of the villagers consider Dolores/Lolita a saint. Manolo returns, is enraged, gathers the men together to convince them his wife is a prostitute and the town's life and joy return to the gray of black and white film. The women of the village are convinced that Manolo must be informed as to the sacrifice Lolita has been making and in order to do so they visit Manolo's humble house and line up for a toss in the hay with Manolo: after only several of the many women exit the house with smiles and gleams of physical satisfaction, Manolo weakly emerges admitting that such a process is indeed a sacrifice! How the village manages this mutual acceptance of Dolores and Manolo and incorporates the newfound 'therapy' into their lives constitutes the warmly humorous ending.
The large cast of actors is splendid. There are many cameos (Leocadia played by Leticia Huijara is a zany old lady who insists on photographing herself and the events of the village on a daily basis!, etc) and Laura Mañá handles the direction of this potentially difficult story with amazing finesse. We can only hope she continues to create other films as unique and satisfying as SEXO POR COMPASION! Grady Harp, July 05
I see why this Spanish Village took home so many awards.
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 01/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a highly unique film that I was able to pick up; it contains no nudity and foul language to my knowledge. This story drabs around a gray Mexican village, where life is pretty much boring. The lead character is a wife, who mourns the unexpected leave of her husband. He leaves her because maybe she is a person without sins. So she wants to do terrible sins in the hope that her husband may return. Adultery proves to be one of the most terrible sins. Thus, she decides to sleep with other men. But miraculously, she helps the sad men who visit her. After sleeping with her, they find new energy in life and the dreary village comes to life again.
At this point in the movie, the color returns to the movie into glorious colors. The movie is done as a comedy with plenty of laughs and funny situations, but there's a serious undertone of breaking through the macho-culture of Mexico. This surreal movie uses the idea of the 1998 `Pleasantville', regarding to the use of black & white and colors to express the feeling of the villagers. The direction of Laura Mañá and the performance of the unknown cast are marvelous. The simple story hooks-up the attention of the viewer along the 109 minutes without being boring in any moment.
There are many cameos (Leocadia played by Leticia Huijara is a zany old lady who insists on photographing herself and the events of the village on a daily basis! etc) and Laura Mañá handles the direction of this potentially difficult story with amazing finesse. We can only hope she continues to create other films as unique and satisfying as SEXO POR COMPASION! Highly recommend especially to foreign film lovers.
Sin vs. Virtue?
H. E. Edgell | USA | 11/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is one of a kind. It centers on a town in Spain that is "dying." We slowly learn some of the reasons for this, and the movie shifts from black and white to color to show the coming alive of the community.
This movie is stark and focuses on characters and dialogue. It shows the conflicts and oddities of human nature and asks the questions: What is sin? What is charity? Who is truly good? Is being truly good a form of vanity or pride? Fascinating stuff. I enjoy movies by Spanish filmmakers for the way they look at human nature: there's a wondrous juxtaposition of pragmatism and a romanticism that is not usually found in US films.
This film points to the way we as humans live -- sometimes comfortably, sometimes with resignation -- with contradications."
Pleasure to watch; exceeded my expectations
Hethra | Orlando, FL | 11/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nothing intellectual here, just some basic comments (am currently fighting off the flu).
I saw this on the shelf and sort of did a double take. What? The basic plot seemed so... ridiculous? weird? I rented it out of curiosity mostly, but this film FAR exceeded my expectations as both a movie of great talent and beauty as well as some basic philosophical substance within a very simple, easy-to-follow-along-with movie that was quite a pleasure to watch.
It raised an interesting question - is the real "sin" the act of infidelity or the response of jealousy? Are we too superficial and quick to condemn actions without evaluating their intentions..?
Although it made me think, it moreso touched my heart, and the movie lacks any sort of intellectual, philosophical discussion, which really adds to the depth and beauty of it. It reminds me of the most basic tenet of creative writing: "Show, don't tell.""