Published On: Tue, May 28th, 2013

New film from Cannes film festival, ‘The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh,’ presents church as evil, a ‘horror’

Director Rodrigo Gudino, proclaimed to be an atheist, explained to NPR the theme behind his new film, The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh. Gudino says he wanted to get away from using the Devil as the face of evil and instead “present a religious horror film where the religious horror is religion itself.”

The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh photoWhen describing his film screening at Cannes, he tells NPR that it’s not the devil that’s scary. “I wanted to get away from that, present a religious horror film where the religious horror is religion itself.”

The former Catholic turned Atheist explains the main character’s journey.

“The protagonist is someone who has rejected the religion of his mother and has done so as a Western rationalist. And, in fact, that’s really the only way he could come to terms with some of those things unless he was going to admit that maybe his mother was right.”

The filmmaker does point to the graphic depiction of Christ on the Cross in Mexico as influencing his shift away from religion.

“Their representation of Jesus as a suffering figure is quite extreme in some cases. He’s bleeding and bruised and cut open and things quite grotesque, you know, when you’re in other parts of North America, he’s a resurrected Christ. He’s very clean and respectable. But here, they don’t shy away from showing his suffering side.”

“To this day, I sometimes walk into churches and I feel the terror of that, the terror of being confronted with a god, you know, and like this thing that might be there, like in that space that’s not human, you know. But I guess I have an active imagination, too, right?”

The plot involves a man whose “mother just passed away and for the first time in decades, he returns to her house. It’s cluttered with memorabilia that remind him of his mother’s strict and terrifying religious teachings. Statues of angels and the Virgin Mary watch ominously over Leon and he starts to feel a supernatural presence in the house.”





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- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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