Author(s): Eca de Queiros
The explosive and highly controversial new film of The Crime of Father Amaro is set in Mexico, in a material and religious culture of this century not unlike the provincial Portugal where, as a young man, de Queiros was despatched to train for the consular service. The Crime of Father Amaro is set in Leiria, a provincial cathedral city, in which the hypocrisies of churchmen were not far to seek. Father Amaro, a young man like himself, with a priestly rather than a diplomatic vocation, falls into a relationship with a woman, and their tragic story unfolds with a harsh relentlessness. The situation of women, tightly swaddled in conformities yet fevered in their illusions of romance, much troubled the young author in this and later books
Eca de Queiros (1845-1900) was Portugal's greatest nineteenth-century novelist. His works brilliantly evoke, and condemn, the rapidly changing society of his time. He travelled widely as a diplomat and, though he considered himself an apostle of Naturalist Realism, he is at heart an ironist, with the severity and compassion of Stendhal.