The film “Camila” provides a historical and dramatic image of the story of the young Camila O’Gorman, an Irish-Argentine womam of 20 years and promenant social standing in the area. According to Hart’s article on Camila’s indiscretions from 1847 and 1848, the young Camila O’ Gorman fell in love with the new priest, Uladislao Gutierrez after having met him during a confession of a sexual dream she had, they hid their love up until they finally eloped in the winter of 1847 and assumed new names in a new town, this lasted up through when Camila conceived a child and they were finally discovered in the Summer of 1848 and sentenced to death. The story takes place from Bemberg’s decidedly feminist perspective, as evidenced by the actions and the depiction of Camila as a strong woman who knew what she wanted, and followed through with her desires despite what her overbearing father had to say regarding the situation.

According to the Stephens article, the courtship was probably much less melodramatic in real life than what Bemberg portrayed in the movie. Ladislao had taken his priestly vows against his will and they were therefore invalid in the eyes of God. He openly proclaimed to Camila, even within the context of the film that he was willing to take Camila as his partner before God. This act is very significant in the film as it provides a sense of justification to the rebellious acts of Ladislao and Camila. They were not committing a sin in the eyes of God, only in the eyes of Camila’s father, Adolfo O’Gorman and the Bishop.

Ladislao’s Offense (according to Adolfo)

He seduced Camila under the guise of religion and stole her away. In the situation Camila was perceived as a passive victim, placing all of the blame on Ladislao. However the Bishop condemned both Camila and Ladislao as miserable, ungracious and unhappy individuals who committed a great sin and should be punished accordingly, by death, as it turned out.

In the End, both were shot by firing squad, despite the fact that it was illegal to kill a pregnant woman. The hesitation in the eyes of the firing squad when it came to shooting Camila was more than evident, the commander of the squad had to force them to fire under the threat of his own weapon to keep them from lowering their weapons a final time. This indicated a sense of compassion for the Camila and their feelings regarding an unjust judgment on the matter of their relationship. But when it came down to it, they completed their duties and killed both Ladislao and Camila as the judgment had decreed. However, as the closing scene suggests, Ladislao and Camila were reunited forever in death with Ladislao’s voice over that whispered “A tu lado, Camila,” (By your side, Camila) as they were placed side by side in the same coffin. Reading back to the perceived illegitimacy of Ladislao’s vows, they could indeed share eternity with one another, as they were no longer bound by the judgment of secular rulers.

Adios y hasta la proxima vez,
          Daniel Kiser