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The Club, featuring Alejandro Sieveking, Marcelo Alonso, Antonia Zegers, Jaime Vadell and Alejandro Goic, follows the lives of abusive priests banished to a seaside home on Chile’s coast

3 out of 4 stars

Title
The Club
Written by
Guillermo Calderon, Pablo Larrain
Directed by
Pablo Larrain
Starring
Roberto Farias, Antonia Zegers, Alfredo Castro
Classification
14A
Country
Chile
Language
English
Year
2016

Even with Pablo Larrain's signature insights hidden in quiet and seemingly simple dialogue, and even with hints of his trademark dark humour, The Club may be one of the Chilean director's most disturbing films.

Maybe because it comes off the back of the more audience-friendly No, which told the ultimately uplifting story of dictator Augusto Pinochet's ouster. Or maybe because The Club lacks a hero. Or simply because the film's subject matter – it follows the lives of abusive priests banished to a seaside home on Chile's coast – is so damn grim.

But Larrain consciously took on the difficult, complicated themes of faith, truth and guilt here, a commendable task considering that avoiding the topic has been part of why it has escaped confrontation for so long. It is clearly time for it to be under the spotlight, and with no better master of complexity than Larrain.

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