Knocks at My Door

Adapted from a successful play, this tense and effective Venezuelan political thriller (1992), directed with craft and discretion by Alejandro Saderman, follows the principled decision of a nun to shelter a fugitive from armed rebels during a state of civil war, the ambivalent cooperation she elicits from a fellow nun, and the price they both have to pay for their courage. Saderman sticks to the claustrophobic feeling I assume the original play had, while still conveying a detailed sense of the surrounding community, from mayor to bishop to shopkeeper. And wisely, he tends to veer away from close-ups when he wants certain dramatic points to register; indeed, many of this film’s finest moments–most of them related to the performance of Veronica Oddo, who plays the more committed nun–transpire in long shot. Three Penny, Saturday, April 23, 6:30; also Facets Multimedia, Monday, April 25, 7:00.

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