Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sympathetic Film of Opus Dei's Founder: "He who Loves is Free"

British film director, Joffe, who makes claims to be politically neutral in his portrayal of Opus Dei will nevertheless make a sympathetic portrayal of the founder and organization of Opus Dei. The director is not known for historical accuracy or political neutrality in "The Mission" which was decidedly a kind of homage to liberation theology at the time it was made when Communists in Central America were attempting to wrest control of the government of El Salvador and successfully took control of Nicaragua which became a source of oppression for the Miskito Indians and openly attempted to destabilize other countries in the region as well.

Although his depiction of a selfish liberal journalist in "The Killing Fields" was interesting, it might be hard to watch this film as it will portray St. Josemaria Escriva's controversial relationship with a young Jewish girl whom he advises not to become Catholic so as not to upset her parents.

Yet the subtitle is interesting, "who loves is free", might indicate a more promising and truthful portrayal than we might have expected. It will be ready for release next fall.

LONDON (Reuters) – If Opus Dei had a rough ride in the blockbuster movie based on Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," it looks set for an altogether more sympathetic portrayal in another film that deals with the Catholic organization

British director Roland Joffe, renowned for Oscar-nominated "The Killing Fields" and "The Mission," is making "There Be Dragons," a film set during the Spanish Civil War that focuses in part on the life of Opus Dei founder Jose Maria Escriva.

Principal photography is complete, and Joffe is now in the editing room aiming to have the movie, which stars Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, ready for theatres by autumn next year.

Joffe originally intended to turn down a project which, owing to its religious theme and Opus Dei's controversial profile, promises to draw closer scrutiny than the average film.

In The Da Vinci Code, Opus Dei was cast as a secretive cult that resorted to murder to defend a fictional, 2,000-year-old Catholic cover-up. It has also been criticized by church liberals suspicious of its power and reach and by estranged members telling of coercion and corporal mortification.

But when he saw a video of Escriva addressing a large crowd, Joffe changed his mind.

The priest, who was made a saint in 2002, was asked by a Jewish girl if she should convert to Catholicism. Knowing it would upset her parents, Escriva told her that she should not.

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