The Crime of Father Amaro (film)

The crime of Father Amaro is a Mexican film of the year 2002 based on thehomonymous novel of the Portuguese writer Eça de Queirós , written in 1875 . Before its public exhibition in Mexico a controversy was unleashed because Catholic groupstried to ban the film. 2 The government of President Vicente Fox , in charge of its then Secretary of the Interior , Santiago Creel , privately exhibited the film before religious personalities, since the IMCINE Mexican Film Institute produced the film in part. Although the rightist group ProVida tried to sue the government to ban its exhibition, this film became the highest grossing film in Mexico, surpassing Sex, Shame and Tears ( 1999 ). The film produced for less than two million dollars raised more than five million in the United States aloneand more than 22 million dollarsworldwide. 3 The crime of Father Amaro broke the Mexican film brand in the US box office earlier of Y tu mamá ( 2001 ), also starring Gael García Bernal .


The newly ordained Father Amaro (Gael Garcia Bernal), a young man of only twenty-four, is sent to a small parish in the town of Los Reyes to help Father Benito in his daily duties. The corruption of the local rulers and Father Benito, in addition to the appeal of the young Amelia (Ana Claudia Talancón) create a difficult situation for the young religious.

In fact, Father Amaro is destined for the parish of Aldama, Mexico. Upon arrival he is received by Father Benito, who maintains an affair with the Sanjuanera (Angelica Aragon), who is in charge of the fonda near the Church, as well as the domestic tasks of the Parish House. Father Amaro gradually discovers the secrets of the place, as well as money laundering by Narco and the Church to build a Dispensary (Hospital), in addition to the romance of Father Benito.

The young Amelia, daughter of the Sanjuanera, falls in love with Father Amaro and tries to be with him. Eventually they begin a secret relationship in a small room in the Sacristan’s house, which has a daughter with mental retardation. Young Amelia becomes pregnant shortly after and after an unsuccessful attempt to return with her former boyfriend (Andrés Montiel), she is persuaded by Father Amaro to have an abortion in a clandestine clinic. The abortion goes wrong, the girl suffers a hemorrhage impossible to stop; This leads Father Amaro to move her to the nearest Hospital putting the secret at risk.



  • Contender Oscar Academy United States in the category Best Foreign Language Film in the year 2002 .

Ariel Award

This film received the following Arieles of the Academy of Mexico in the XLV delivery (2003):

  • Best film .
  • Address : Carlos Carrera .
  • Female co-rating : Angélica Aragón .
  • Male performance : Damián Alcázar .
  • Actor in a painting : Ernesto Gómez Cruz .
  • Guion adapted : Vicente Leñero .
  • Edition : Óscar Figueroa .
  • Sound : Santiago Núñez , Mario Martínez , Ernesto Gaytán and Nerio Barberis .
  • Costume : Mariestela Fernández .

In addition, the film was nominated for the following awards:

  • Actress : Ana Claudia Talancón .
  • Actor of picture : Gastón Melo .
  • Art design : Ivonne Fuentes and Carmen Giménez Cacho .
  • Makeup : Aurora Chavira .


  • Gael García Bernal is Father Amaro.
  • Ana Claudia Talancón is Amelia.
  • Sancho Gracia is Father Benito Díaz.
  • Luisa Huertas is Denise.
  • Ernesto Gómez Cruz is the Bishop.
  • Gastón Melo is Martín.
  • Damián Alcázar is Father Natalio Pérez.
  • Andrés Montiel is Rubén de la Rosa.
  • Angélica Aragón is Augustina Sanjuanera.
  • Pedro Armendáriz Jr. is the Municipal President.
  • Gerardo Moscoso is the Doc.
  • Veronica Langer is Amparito.
  • Lorenzo de Rodas is Don Paco de la Rosa.
  • Roger Nevares is Father Galván.
  • Alfredo Gonzales is the Old Man.
  • Jorge Castillo is Don Matías

Differences with the novel

  • The film is based on the novel by the writer Eça de Queirós , where places and time are totally different, as well as the events that occur in the film, such as money laundering and drug and church links.
  • In the film, when Amelia’s character is discovered to be pregnant, Father Amaro persuades her to perform abortion in a clandestine hospital. In the novel, Amelia gives birth in a nearby village and the child is delivered by Father Amaro to a “weaver of angels”, who later gets rid of him.


  1. Back to top↑ «The crime of Father Amaro» . Archived from the original on November 25, 2015 . Retrieved March 5, 2013 . «Classification in Mexico».
  2. Back to top↑ «Mexico: the controversy of Father Amaro» . BBC World . August 16, 2002 . Accessed November 19, 2015 .
  3. Back to top↑ Box Office Mojo