Veteran filmmaker Lisandro Duque Naranjo’s (The Invisible Children) latest film is a black comedy that takes place in a small and devoutly Catholic village in the Colombian Andes in the 1970s. It’s Easter when the family of a suicide victim tries to make arrangements for his burial only to find that the new local priest (a standout performance by Germán Jaramillo – Our Lady of the Assassins) holds fast to the doctrine of denying church burial to suicides. Despite this, the family goes ahead and buries the body in the Catholic cemetery.
In response, the priest denies the sacraments to the entire town until the family of the deceased remove the body from the cemetery. The villagers then launch an unexpected ‘strike’ of Holy Week – refusing to participate in any of the planned traditional activities – and create a register of local suicides. This unlocks a wave of suicide claims and denials – and the strike brings in evangelical groups from nearby towns.
Duque Naranjo weaves elements of his own life in this sharp-witted tale that evokes the work if his long-time collaborator, Gabriel García Márquez.