Skip to content

A Highest Recommendation Goes To 'For Greater Glory'

By Leticia Velasquez
6/4/2012 (5 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Great performances surround this account of Mexico's fight for religious freedom

Do not miss this remarkable salute to the little known heroes of the Cristeros rebellion, an opportunity not only to educate your family about past religious persecution and the heroes who fought for religious liberty in Mexico, but a spellbinding experience to inspire your own reaction to similar threats in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Highlights

By Leticia Velasquez
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/4/2012 (5 years ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: For Greater Glory, Mauricio Kuri, Andy Garcia, Peter O'Toole, Cristero, Cristeros, Cristiada


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Mexico in the 1920's was a genteel society where ladies and gentlemen dressed in their Sunday best, casually strolled to Mass through the town plaza. The parish priest was a preeminent figure in the community, and no one imagined that President Plutarco Calles would send their gracious world into a tailspin with his sudden enactment of Mexican anti-clerical laws in 1926.

Mexican churches closed their doors in protest on August 1, 1926 and the people saw their Catholic schools and churches confiscated, their priests exiled and even murdered before their horrified gaze.  Their first reaction was to organize boycotts through the National League for Religious Liberty, but the Calles retaliation grew bloodier and soon many Mexican Catholics felt that their only recourse was to take up arms.

The Cristero Movement was born, from landowning peasants whose religious faith was strong, and who fought to reclaim their rights to freedom of religion. Their battle cry was "Que viva Cristo Rey!" (Long live Christ the King!) As they carried banners with Christ's image into battle and attended Holy Mass in their camps, they knew they were fighting to maintain religious freedom in their homeland.

In the new epic film "For Greater Glory." Andy Garcia plays General Enrique Gorostieta Velarde a renowned retired general whose civilian life as head of a soap factory leaves him anxious to return to battle even though his atheism has his wife Tulita (Eva Longoria, "The Sentinel") somewhat cynical as to his role in a conflict over religious freedom. General Gorostieta says he's fighting so his daughters can receive Confirmation, but soon the inspiring valor of 14-year-old José Luis Sánchez del Rio (Mauricio Kuri) who begs to join the Cristeros spurs the general to greater personal investment in the cause for religious freedom.

A once-hidden epoch in Mexican history is brought unflinchingly to life by riveting performances by such venerable actors as Oscar-winner Peter O'Toole as Fr Christopher an aged foreign priest who incredulous to learn that he is no longer welcome in the nation whose people he served all his life, and newcomer Mauricio Kuri as his young protégé in the defense of the Faith.

The power of religious conviction to drive self-sacrifice is the inspiring theme in this extraordinary film, portrayed with equal power by both militant priests like Fr Vega (Santiago Cabrera, "Heroes") and pacifist activists such as Blessed Anacleto Gonzalez Flores (Eduardo Verastegui, "Bella").

Director Dean Wright does not dwell on the violence of the conflict, but focuses on the state of the characters' souls as they valiantly embrace sacrifices required to combat by the cruel suppression of the Federales. Stirring portrayals of good and evil set amid colorful Mexican landscapes suffused with Catholic iconography create an unforgettable cinematic experience comparable to "The Mission."

Andy Garcia gives the performance of his career, filling the screen with his character's powerful transformation from mercenary to hero, but Mauricio Kuri's screen debut is the showstopper. Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Rio is first seen as an insolent adolescent who Fr Christopher mentors as an altar boy but his lessons on moral courage are driven home when the boy witnesses the elderly priests' martyrdom. Jose insists on bringing his friend along to join the Cristeros, and humbly accepts his position as a non-combatant, until destiny thrusts him into the spotlight.

Do not miss this remarkable salute to the little known heroes of the Cristeros rebellion, an opportunity not only to educate your family about past religious persecution and the heroes who fought for religious liberty in Mexico, but a spellbinding experience to inspire your own reaction to similar threats in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. It is providential that "For Greater Glory" is coming out as the USCCB's Fortnight for Freedom initiative is about to begin.

I give "For Greater Glory" my highest recommendation. Suitable for ages 13 and up, like "The Passion of the Christ", the film is rated R for violent and disturbing content. (Sexual content is minimal; there is one bedroom scene with a discussion between husband and wife, and a brief scene of women in 1920's style undergarments)  Greatest respect for the highest expressions of human dignity; sacrifice, love and faith is exalted in this film. 

-----

Leticia Velasquez reviews movies for Catholic Media Review. She is also a popular writer on issues relating to Life and Family.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for JULY 2017
Lapsed Christians.
That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.


Comments


More Movies

Lesbian Nuns?! Hollywood director to create smut film disgracing Catholic Church Watch

Image of Paul Verhoeven is making another smut film Christians would do well to avoid.

Desperate to remain relevant and make money, the movie industry is preparing to release a smutty film about lesbian nuns with mystical ... continue reading


What 2017 releases will YOU watch this summer? - A FULL LIST of summer releases Watch

Image of What amazing films will hit theaters this summer?

This summer some pretty amazing movies are going to hit theaters, so which ones are YOU excited about? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


New Series Connecting Heaven and Earth To Be Released During Holy Week

Image of City of Saints will be released online during Holy Week.

From the Norbertines of St. Michael's Abbey and Chuck Kinnane, director of The Human Experience, Child 31, and Generation Hope, comes a new ... continue reading


What are the effects of Disney's introduction of a gay character? Watch

Image of Beauty and the Beast features Disney's first openly gay character.

Disney's remake of "Beauty and the Beast" is turning heads for its amazing cast, classic story and, more notoriously, its use of Disney's ... continue reading


Spoiler-free review of 'The Shack' Watch

Image of The Shack movie poster (IMDB).

Without having witnessed a single film trailer, or reading the book upon which it is based, I set out to watch "The Shack." What I ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.