Anazapta Review

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A mysterious killer strikes down the various inhabitants of a medieval village.


This grim and grimy Medieval murder mystery comes on like a cross between The Name Of The Rose and The Return Of Martin Guerre, what with the procession of ugly brutalities - torture, disease, rape - and the appearance of an enigmatic stranger who provides the film with its narrative thrust.

Jacques is the son of a French nobleman being held prisoner in England who is to be exchanged for a hostage in France: the crusading husband of Lena Heady's devoted wife, Matilda. But her handsome young captive is on a crusade of his own, one that involves him raining God's own violent vengeance down upon the English community he's rather too familiar with.

It's an intriguing enough set-up but, as co-written and directed by Alberto Sciamma, Anazapta is a muddled affair that takes forever to reach its wholly underwhelming conclusion.

Not a rose by any other name.