THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND (1976)

Fred Schepisi, Australia, 1976, Umbrella Entertainment, Down Under

Never more relevant than with today’s Catholic church scandals, the celebrated debut feature by Fred Schepisi (SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, ROXANNE, THE CHANT OF JIMMIE BLACKSMITH) is a lushly-photographed, boundary-pushing coming-of age tale set in a strict 1950s Australian seminary.

Winner of Best Picture and Best Director at the ‘76 Australian Oscars, this semi-autobiographical retelling of the director's own priesthood training follows 13-year-old Tom: a serious boy whose calling for the church is complicated by guilt associated with masturbation and sinful thoughts. While the ascetic Brother Francine prowls the school's corridors looking for evidence of ''the undisciplined mind'', the hard-drinking Brother Victor refutes the harsh discipline that scars the hearts and minds of the students -- though each battle their own earthly desires.

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Details

  • 107 min.
  • Color
  • 1.85:1

Formats

  • DCP
  • Blu-ray

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