Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Opus Dei Movie

This magnificent apostolate of the Church, which has touched so many lives and played a major role in my conversion, has a movie about its founder, which opened May 6th and is already garnering great comments, as in this article from the Wall Street Journal.

An excerpt.

“When the wartime epic "There Be Dragons" opens in theaters today, it will cap a remarkable evolution in the popular representation of Opus Dei, the conservative Catholic society whose founder, Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, is the hero of the new film.

“Set during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, when Escrivá was a young man (he died in 1975 and was canonized Saint Josemaría in 2002), "There Be Dragons" was conceived by Roland Joffé, the Oscar-nominated English director and self-described "wobbly agnostic," who is hardly one to carry water for a group like Opus Dei. But Mr. Joffé offers a human and sympathetic portrait of Escrivá and, by extension, of Opus Dei.

“That is quite a change from the sinister portrayal of Opus Dei in the 2006 film adaptation of Dan Brown's thriller, "The Da Vinci Code," which included a murderous albino monk in its cast of caricatures. Yet the cinematic shift is more than an artistic choice. At a deeper level it symbolizes a genuine evolution for Opus Dei, an often insular movement that many in the church once considered the bogeyman of the right.

“For decades, the society's devotion to secrecy and influence in Rome only amplified stories of questionable practices and associations that in turn fueled best-selling conspiracy theories.

“The late John Paul II was one of those who championed the society, and as Opus Dei flourished it became a more confident, open and mainstream movement in the church. Opus Dei's strategy of public engagement in the wake of "The Da Vinci Code" phenomenon was a model of public relations, especially for a church that can seem to make a doctrine of defensiveness.”