Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Leticia Velasquez

6/4/2012 (4 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 (4 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 DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Movies

Pope Francis meets Oscar-winning directer of new faith-based film 'Silence' Watch

Image of Pope Francis meets Oscar-winning director of

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis welcomed Oscar-winning film director Martin Scorses and his family to the Vatican Wednesday to discuss "Silence," a film starring Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Silence" was inspired by the true story of ... continue reading


There's a secret Catholic message hidden in 'Arrival' Watch

Image of 'Arrival' contains a hidden Catholic message. It's unknown if it was intended as such.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

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 you've already seen the movie, let's talk about the hidden Catholic message contained in the movie. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Mel Gibson slays in latest faith-based film 'Hacksaw Ridge' Watch

Image of Mel Gibson's latest faith-based film performs well in the box office.

By Nikki Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mel Gibson rises from a ten-year reprieve to release his latest faith-based film. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For the first time since "The Passion," Mel Gibson has taken the director's chair to produce another faith-based film."Hacksaw Ridge" is based on the ... continue reading


Powerful Film Sheds Light on Modern Day Holocaust

Image of

By KingdomWorks Studios

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 wrenching short film based on the Holocaust during World War II isshedding light on abortion and calling churches to raise their ... continue reading


'I'm Not Ashamed' - Atheists slam faith-based Columbine massacre film Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Movies based on true stories come out every year - but of course the faith-based films get the most controversy, primarily from Atheist hate groups. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I'm Not Ashamed" is a new faith-based film focused on the Columbine massacre that ... continue reading


Mark Wahlberg is set to play his most Catholic role ever Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Well-known Hollywood movie star and Catholic, Mark Wahlberg is gearing up for his most Catholic role ever. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mark Wahlberg, alongside director David O Russell, is working on an inspirational biopic about Father Stuart Long, an American ... continue reading


'The Story of Christ' to be told in Virtual Reality Watch

Image of Imagine standing next to Christ while he delivers the Sermon on the Mount.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new film will allow people to experience the life of Christ in full virtual reality (VR). The new film aims to bring people closer to Christ by allowing them to experience key events in His life. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - "Jesus VR - The Story of Christ" ... continue reading


JESUS RETURNS: A sequel to 'The Passion of the Christ' confirmed Watch

Image of Jim Caviezel as

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mel Gibson has confirmed a sequel to 'The Passion of the Christ' is coming. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In an interview with evangelist Greg Laurie at SoCal Harvest at Angel Stadium, Gibson announced there would be a follow-up to the hit independent film. "Of ... continue reading


Inside scoop for latest Clint Eastwood film 'Sully' - An interview with writer Todd Komarnicki Watch

Image of Take a behind-the-scenes look at

By Nikki Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Todd Komarnicki, a writer, producer and director, shares insight into the making of Clint Eastwood's "Sully," which saw a $35.5 million opening weekend. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Todd Komarnicki is known for writing scripts for "Perfect Stranger," "Sully," ... continue reading


Miracle on the Hudson - 'Sully' film review (NO SPOILERS) Watch

Image of A review of

By Nikki Crawford & Marisel Maldonado

The latest Clint Eastwood film, "Sully," will be released in theaters Friday, September 9. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Sully" is based on the real story of Flight 1549, when Canadian geese flew into the U.S. Airways Airbus' engines.Both engines lost thrust and ... continue reading


All Movies News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 11:1-10
1 A shoot will spring from the stock of Jesse, a new shoot will grow from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
1 [Of Solomon] God, endow the king with your own fair judgement, the son ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 3:1-12
1 In due course John the Baptist appeared; he proclaimed this message in ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 15:4-9
4 And all these things which were written so long ago were written so ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 4th, 2016 Image

St. John of Damascus
December 4: Saint John Damascene has the double honor of ... Read More