Karadima's Forest | Chicago Reader

Karadima's Forest

98 minutes 2015

An impressionable young man from a broken home (Pedro Campos) thinks he's found a calling when an influential priest (Luis Gnecco) takes him under his wing, but the priest coerces him into a long-term sexual relationship. Based on the true story of Fernando Karadima, leader of Chile's powerful El Bosque ("The Forest") church for more than 20 years, this drama is structured around the testimony of one of his victims, and its meticulous narrative, presented in scenes of Benjamín Vicuña as the grown man and in lengthy flashbacks, shows how a sexual predator grooms his victims. Gnecco's performance as Karadima, a callous narcissist whom many of the Chilean faithful call "the little saint," made my skin crawl. Matias Lira directed. In Spanish with subtitles.

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