THE PENITENT is the story about a searing and tormented love triangle in a Mexican village that follows the brutal cult traditions of the Roman Catholic flagellants, ‘Penitente’. Each year before Easter one of the members from the village is chosen to take part in the reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus.
Raul Julia plays Ramon Guerola, a devout penitent whose young bride Celia (Rona Freed) is strongly attracted to Ramon’s lifelong friend Juan Mateo (Armand Assante). Just released from prison and now visiting Ramon, Mateo’s arrival ignites a romantic conflict over Celia that will be decided upon the cross.
Julia, who died tragically of cancer aged just 54, gives an amazing performance, showcasing his enormous talent for diverse roles spanning from the political drama “Kiss Of The Spider Woman” to the weird and wacky world of the two “Addams Family” films. His colleague Assante also puts his talent and coarse good looks to best use. When THE PENITENT reaches its climax the fil, results in an eruption of destructive and all-consuming passion.