Knocks at My Door

Adapted from a successful play, this tense Venezuelan political thriller (1992), directed with craft and discretion by Alejandro Saderman, follows the principled decision of a nun to shelter a fugitive from armed rebels during a civil war, the ambivalent cooperation she elicits from a fellow nun, and the price they both have to pay for their courage. Saderman sticks to the claustrophobic feeling I assume the original play had, while still conveying a detailed sense of the surrounding community, from mayor to bishop to shopkeeper. Wisely, he tends to veer away from close-ups when he wants certain dramatic points to register; indeed, many of this film's finest moments—most of them related to the performance of Veronica Oddo, who plays the more committed nun—transpire in long shot.

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