One Hundred Nails | Chicago Reader

One Hundred Nails

The shocking destruction of religious manuscripts at a Bolognese university outrages the library clerics and stumps the police. But the vandal, a handsome theology professor (Raz Degan), feels curiously born again: after fleeing the city, he ditches his car, tosses his clothes and identification into the Po River, and sets off to explore the countryside. What begins as a mystery develops into allegory as the man restores an ancient ruin on the riverbank and the local villagers are drawn to him by his embrace of the simple life and his striking resemblance to the Jesus of Renaissance paintings. Writer-director Ermanno Olmi (The Tree of Wooden Clogs) renders the earthy townspeople more convincingly than he does the lead character, who;s a little indecisive to be the Messiah (though he does manage to thwart some greedy land developers). In English and subtitled Italian. 92 min.

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