(2011, Ire, 109 min) Dir Phil Neeson. Cast Pat Shortt, Phil Neeson, Isaach de Bankolé.
Fathers Jimmy Faith (Shortt) and Mickey Batt (Neeson) are new arrivals from Ireland in the fictional African country of Chango-Monin (which is, geographically, “out the west, like Galway.”), both there for reasons hinted at but not specified during the film. While Batt is perfectly content to stay there, Father Faith is desperate to get back to his home country to the point where he greets every new convert by running from the building and back to his lodgings where he can call ‘The Head Office’ and ask whether, since he’s found another new soul for the Lord, he can come back. The answer is always no. Will he ever find a reason to stay? Will he ever come to love the locals, who he hates without pretending otherwise? A pretty scabrous film with no love in evidence for the institution of the church – it makes Father Ted look like The Fluffy Bunny Show. Good performances from Shortt and Neeson (here also directing his second feature) can’t disguise the awfulness of the characters and your feeling for the film will depend on you ability to spend close to two hours in the company of such a pair of corrupt, racist clergymen. Special mention must go to de Bankolé who is hilarious as their local colleague who spends the film pretending to like them through gritted teeth.