Does it matter who the priest is if he knows how to bring out the best in you? Old wounds in society healed? Dispel darkness and restore faith to people’s hearts? Does it matter if his past is not clean?
For some, no doubt. No doubt some even prefer someone who does everything with the book. But in the Polish village that Daniel ended up with, a person who only listens to the rules and not to parishioners is of little help to them. A tragedy not long ago changed village life as it can only be performed in small communities. A car carrying six or seven young villagers was smashed onto another car. Everyone died. As well as the man who was in the other car.
Daniel does not know anything about it when he enters the church. In fact, as a juvenile delinquent, he had to do his homework at the local sawmill. But no, rather not. It is better to tell another person that he is a pastor. And let the church search for an alternative. Old Priest Daniel confirms that it is not a lot of work. Almost the entire village comes to the church, but the faithful are few.
Tragedy falls slowly
This is how Daniel smelling, partying, and fighting begins his new mission. He performs confession, and establishes last rites. And slowly that tragedy begins. First by the side of the road that runs through the village, with all those pictures, flowers, and mementos. Then it resonates with what the villagers tell him. How is the man blamed in that other car and should not be buried in the village. His widow still lives here. And yes, I love your neighbor, but not here and now. The pain is very great.
“Corpus Christi” was at its strongest of all time the movie did not choose the easy way out. There are no important words in Daniel’s Sunday church service. Not a melodrama, even if everything is clumsy enough to be credible for a boy who has not gone to school. At the same time, everything Daniel does is real enough to touch and help the parishioners. The movie goes beyond the struggles of the small community and you realize that is the only way.
The film asks who cares who will bring salvation. No matter how humble it may be. Unfortunately, the ending marks the persecution of that other savior two thousand years ago. Because we’ve understood that persecuted and convicted can also be saviors.