It's a comedy-drama set in the 1980s in the Republic of Malta. It follows the life of a late-40s woman after the sudden death of her older brother. She had served as a housekeeper for her Catholic priest brother for 30 years. It's loosely based on the life experience of the director's aunt.
Carmen (Natascha McElhone)'s family forced her to look after her brother, Father Francis (Henry Zammit Cordina), from age 16. He is austere and disliked by his small-town parish. After his death, another priest plans to come. The new priest's sister, Rita (Michaela Farrugia), will look after him.
Carmen has nowhere to go, but God keeps supplying signs to guide her. Some of the options she chooses are engaging and very funny. At one point, Carmen has a relationship with a young pawnbroker, Paulo (Steven Love), which includes more drama. Throughout, we have flashbacks to a relationship she had as a young girl with an Arab boy, Ahmad (Chakid Zidi).
There is a resolution of sorts by the end, though some story threads are incomplete.
This engaging movie is about blossoming in middle age after three decades of repressed living. Natascha McElhone is excellent, as is Steven Love as Paulo. Many of the fringe players are also very good. The cinematography makes full use of Malta's beauty. Highly recommended.
The director grew up in Toronto but had a Maltese heritage. The film is a joint Canadian-Malta project.
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Carmen is a charming story, inspired by true events, set in a village in Malta. Carmen has looked after her brother, the priest at the local church, since she was sixteen years old. Now almost fifty, she is suddenly left to start a new life. Facing her past, Carmen brings colour to the lives of the villagers in this compelling story about a woman finding her voice.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
September 23, 2022 at 11:59 AM