Film - Lucifer


Lucifer is part of the Dare category at the BFI London Film Festival and is watched by Ren Zelen...

Director\Screenwriter: Gust Van den Berghe
Starring: Gabino Rodriguez, Norma Pablo, Maria Torai Acosta

Maverick Belgian director Gust Van den Berge here completes a faith-themed trilogy with a tale about Lucifer, the fallen angel, who visits a remote Mexican village via a ladder from the sky and unsurprisingly, leaves chaos and suffering in his wake.

Filmed in ‘Tondoscope’ – a circular frame in the centre of the screen, the movie is a mix of theological imagery and black humour. The movie is based on a book by a 17th-Century Dutch playwright Joost van den Vondel, who wrote it 13 years before Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost. The use of the Tondoscope makes the movie seems oddly removed and timeless, although it can also be distracting.

On day, the loudspeaker of in an isolated Mexican village announces the miracle of a ladder descending from the sky and the arrival of a mysterious stranger.

A hardworking old lady has a brother who is faking paralysis after an accident in order to avoid physical work and be able to drink and gamble with his pals, while his elderly sister tends the sheep with her young granddaughter. When the stranger crosses their path and ‘cures’ the paralyzed brother (by threatening to expose his duplicity) it is declared a miracle. The local priest begins to hear the sound of invisible bells and becomes obsessed with building a neon-festooned church.

The villagers all hope that the stranger can help them fulfil their deepest desires. Instead, he strings them along, seduces the granddaughter and leaves her pregnant before disappearing as suddenly as he arrived. The villagers blame the family and the life of the innocent hard-working woman begins to unravel.

Copyright R.H. Zelen – ©RenZelen 2015 All rights reserved.

Images - London Film Festival.

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