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The Boston Globe


Movie Review

More darkness than light in ‘Post Tenebras Lux’

Along with Bela Tarr and Terrence Malick, Carlos Reygadas is one of today’s few genuinely religious filmmakers. He combines the former’s knack for despair, transgression, and doom with the latter’s quest for transcendence, and draws on the oneiric sensibility of both. His new film might be called “Tree of Strife.”

True, religion might not be the first thing that comes to mind after, say, watching the prolonged and miserable sex act that opens Reygadas’s transgressive 2005 film, “Battle in Heaven.” And in “Post Tenebras Lux” (the title is Latin for “After Darkness, Light”) Reygadas also gives the devil his due. In fact, Satan is in one of the film’s very first scenes, and he’s just as you might imagine him: glowing red, with cloven hooves, goatish horns, and a pointy tail, strolling past a child’s bedroom carrying a toolbox. Both absurd and quite at home, he’s a cross between the faun in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” and the demon in “Hellboy.”

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