A Highest Recommendation Goes To 'For Greater Glory'
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.
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.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2017
Comfort for the Afflicted. That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.
Golden Globes 2017: Did any Catholic-based films make the cut? Check out the complete list of nominees here Watch
The 74th Golden Globe Awards nominees are finally in! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Golden Globe awards will be hosted by Jimmy ... continue reading
Pope Francis welcomed Oscar-winning film director Martin Scorses and his family to the Vatican Wednesday to discuss "Silence," a film ... continue reading
Stop. If you haven't seen the latest sci-fi thriller, Arrival and you plan to do so, read no further. This story contains spoilers. If ... continue reading
Mel Gibson rises from a ten-year reprieve to release his latest faith-based film. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For the first time ... continue reading
A powerful, new short film sheds light on the modern day Holocaust and challenges the church to take a stand. Sing A Little Louder, a heart ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Scientists predict Biblical flood for California HD Video
- Daily Reading for Friday, February 24th, 2017 HD Video
- St. Polycarp: Saint of the Day for Thursday, February 23, 2017
- 'This is him telling me he is scared' - Heartbreaking image of ...
- Daily Readings for Thursday, February 23, 2017
- Heroic woman saves officer's life during roadside attack
- Wave of anti-Semitic threats end in vandalization horror - But ...
- New pilgrimage route recreates Jesus' footsteps HD
- Sts. Perpetua and Felicity HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 HD
- California's floods predicted by scientists, but how? HD
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.