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on December 14, 2002
I have never seen a film like this...the darkness of many of the settings, the scenery, the costumes, and the acting all bring to life the ugliness and evil of the Inquisition. The film is based on the true events surrounding Antonio Jose da Silva, born in 1705, a Jewish convert to Catholicism, lawyer and later playwright, who satirized the corruption of the Portuguese monarchy and church through his plays. He and his wife were arrested for "Judaizing", and tortured to make them confess to this sin. Antonio never confessed and was finally burned at the stake.
Though focusing specifically on da Silva's case, the film portrays the machinations of church and monarch, manipulations by corrupt and greedy men in the name of God. The dubbing is difficult to see at times because it is done in white letters and is sometimes washed out on a light background, but the film is an invaluable history lesson. Information online is helpful in comparing the film to historical records...
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on August 16, 1999
"The Jew" is a disturbing true story about the Inquisition and the reign of terror it exerted over the "converted" Jews in Portugal. It is horrorific in the methods that it (the Inquisition) welded to ensure catholic orthodoxy. The film is in Portuguese but can be easily understood by Spanish speakers. At times the English dubbing gets lost in the background but the images & facial reactions speak for themselves. The film ends leaving one with a haunting question.
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