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.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2016
Universal:
Sports: That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world.
Evangelization: Living the Gospel: That Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty, and love of neighbor.



Comments


More Movies

The MUST-READ 2016 'Ben-Hur' Review (NO SPOLIERS) Watch

Image of

By Nikki Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The 2016 "Ben-Hur" remake wows with an adrenaline-inducing chariot race and heartbreaking tale of betrayal. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The remake of classic film "Ben-Hur" maintains a similar story line as the 1959 version but portrays an updated version ... continue reading


Pope Francis blesses Ben-Hur actor and actors pull own stunts - Everything you need to know in tell-all exclusive interview with Roma Downey Watch

Image of Ben-Hur will be available nationwide in theaters August 19.

By Nikki Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

During an exclusive interview with Catholic Online, Hollywood film producer Roma Downey offered some behind-the-scenes insight to the upcoming film "Ben-Hur." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Downey, who starred in the CBS series "Touched by an Angel," is an actress ... continue reading


Ben-Hur reimagined: Read the EXCLUSIVE interview with producer Roma Downey now! Watch

Image of Ben-Hur 2016.

By Nikki Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Read the transcript of Roma Downey's exclusive interview with Catholic Online. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Downey was interviewed Friday, August 12 in regards to the remake of the cinema classic Ben-Hur.The 2016 release features the talents of Jack Huston and ... continue reading


What is a miracle? New film aims to explain the unexplainable Watch

Image of idisciple.org

By Tonia Borsellino (CNA)

For both skeptics and believers, miracles have captivated people's attention for thousands of years. Swansea, United Kingdom (CNA) - That same intrigue led St. Anthony Communications to produce their latest film, 'Miracles.'The 35-minute documentary is the first of a ... continue reading


Film spotlights Hillsong UNITED's remarkable journey from a youth group band at Hillsong Church to a worldwide recording and concert sensation Watch

Image of

By Press Release

Pure Flix is distributing HILLSONG-LET HOPE RISE, the highly anticipated feature film that chronicles the spectacular and miraculous rise to prominence of the Australia-based band, Hillsong UNITED. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Directed by Michael John Warren ... continue reading


Witness the Coming of Christ...to virtual reality Watch

Image of The Story of Christ is coming to virtual reality for the first time (The Story of Christ).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Looking for a new way to immerse yourself in the story of Jesus Christ? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Engadget, virtual reality is an opportunity to fully engage an audience in a film like never before.Producers and directors are moving toward the ... continue reading


Jesus to reach 6.5 million more people? Watch

Image of The JESUS Film will reach millions more after being translated into eight new languages (Amazon).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Millions around the world have no idea who Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is - but now 6.5 million people will be able to learn about Christ in a way they can clearly understand. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - <a href=http://www.jesusfilm.org/>The JESUS Film ... continue reading


'He was a Primitive Baptist': Matthew McConaughey on new Bible-based film Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

According to actor Matthew McConaughey, his latest film "Free State of Jonas" is not just a historical film - it is also a Biblical one. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Free State of Jonas" centers around Newton Knight, who brings together a small band of farmers ... continue reading


Pope Pius IX portrayed in Steven Spielberg's latest film Watch

Image of Latest Spielberg movie features Pope Pius IX (WikiMedia Commons).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Steven Spielberg's latest film, "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara," will tell the true story of how a six-year-old's kidnapping relates to Pope Pius IX, the crumbling of the then Papacy and how Italy was unified through the culmination of events. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


True story behind 'Miracles From Heaven' Watch

Image of Annabel Beam shares story of how God cured her of lifelong illness (PA Real Life).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Annabel Beam was only 9-years-old when she fell down a hollowed-out tree and landed on her skull. Despite other horror stories in which spines were snapped and skulls were broken, Annabel emerged with a few scratches and a miracle: She was cured of a lifelong illness. ... 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

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 3:1-9
1 And so, brothers, I was not able to talk to you as spiritual people; I ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:12-13, 14-15, 20-21
12 How blessed the nation whose God is Yahweh, the people he has chosen ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:38-44
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon's house. Now Simon's ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 31st, 2016 Image

St. Raymond Nonnatus
August 31: Raymond was born at Portella, Catalonia, Spain. ... Read More