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Léon Morin, Prêtre

Jean-Pierre Melville | 1961 | 117 MINS
France | Subtitles
Set during occupied France, a faithless woman finds herself falling in love with a young priest. A fascinating change of subject matter for director Jean-Pierre Melville.

In Detail

Set in a town overrun at first by Italians, then Germans during WWII, Barny is a widowed mother and communist. When the Germans arrive, she sends her half-Jewish daughter to live in a farm in the countryside and finds that Sabine's brother has been arrested and sent to a concentration camp One day she goes to confront a priest.

She chooses Father Leon Morin (Belmondo), because his name sounds less bourgeois. She goes into the confessional and begins her attack. The response by the young priest however takes her by surprise. He has wise and rational responses to her every claim. The two begin conversing regularly. ‘Léon Morin, Priest’ is a surprising film. Remarkable in its direction and acting as well as its portrayal of life in an occupied town, and in its sheer intelligence and humility.

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