Viridiana ★★★★½

Good intentions, the killer of humanity.
You're a good person. You repent for your sins, if you have any. You repent for the sins of others, oh they are so full of them. Sinners. The word rolls on your tongue, easily, it gives you pleasure. To think you're a saint among sinners. A creature to be worshipped. Oh, sure, you say you are not, and you don't really believe it, do you? Still, when they say it, the sensation is intoxicating. Aren't we all craving for gratification? For that feeling of total control over someone? It's good you don't sin, you can lead the others towards goodness. But, if you do... What's left for you? Who will treat you like a blessing once the blessing is given? Oh, never mind. God will take care of that.

In Buñuel's Viridiana we follow the events that lead a young, soon to be nun, woman from a word of faith and made up holy perfection, to a world of sins and reality, where every action, even the one that seems the most pure, has an evil counterpart. Viridiana is, at the beginning of the movie, a girl who knows everything about the world she lives in. She knows so much about it that, even if unconsciously, she feels the world outside the convent walls will lead her astray. She's stubbornly refuses to accept it into her life, even briefly. But then, she has an epiphany. She was born to make holy the unholy. Only to discover that, outside of those walls of carefully constructed, ignorant perfection, no one can be holy, if that word has any meaning at all.

To me, Viridiana feels like the perfect coming of age movie. We all, at some point, believe there's good in everyone. We all think that we can change the world and shape it in our image. We all have an ego who asks to be satisfied. But the desires of the ego are shattered against the hard face of reality. And so, like Viridiana does, we must learn to live alongside other egos, alongside ugliness and pain. Because that's real life. Viridiana comes of age into an ugly world and at first, she refuses it, she shuts it down and tries to replicate the convent's (her childhood) holiness, but she fails. The calling of the other side is too strong, too seducing, and, as she gives in to a side of herself she always refused to acknowledge, she becomes part of another world, of the real world.
Humanity likes to pretend, to play charades with good intentions, but that's all it is: a part to play until the curtain falls.

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