Synopsis by Mark Deming
One man's soul is caught up in a battle of good vs. evil in this period drama from director Dominik Moll. Ambrosio (Vincent Cassel) has spent most of his life within the walls of a Capuchin monastery in Spain; he was left on their doorstep as an infant, and has grown into a man of God respected among his brothers for his fiercely held principles and intense faith. A new follower joins the order, Valerio (Déborah François), who wears a mask after being horribly disfigured in a fire, but Ambrosio discovers this story isn't true -- Valerio is disguised because he's actually a woman. Shortly after Valerio's secret is revealed, Ambrosio is bitten by a scorpion and the poison nearly kills him. Ambrosio eventually recovers, but he's a changed man after he returns to health, and begins showing a highly inappropriate interest in Antonia (Joséphine Japy), an innocent but beautiful young woman living nearby. As Ambrosio works a greater control over Antonia, some wonder if the monk was more deeply impacted by the scorpion's sting than they imagined -- or if Valerio's gender was not her only secret. Adapted from a novel by Matthew G. Lewis, Le Moine (aka The Monk) was an official selection at the 2011 Palm Springs Film Festival.
monk, religious-principles, scorpion