The fictional Father Ángel de la Cruz is based on Legion of Christ
founder Marcial Maciel, whose long history of child abuse was not
addressed until 2006 and only publicly acknowledged in 2009.
But director Luis Urquiza chooses to structure his film through the
largely uncomprehending, wondering eyes of 13-year-old Julián, who
travels from the arms of his loving pastoral family into the austere,
hallowed halls of the seminary. Singling out the boy as his intimate
disciple, installing him in his palatial private quarters and redubbing
him “Sacramento Santos,” Father Ángel begins Julian’s instruction
into the mysteries of “perfect obedience,” whose cardinal rule is:
Never question a superior’s actions.