Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Leticia Velasquez

6/4/2012 (2 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 (2 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Movies

What are filmmakers getting wrong with Bible-based movies? The universal story may not be so universal Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hollywood has released a lot of movies centered on Christianity and the Bible's stories during 2014. Some of them were well-received by Christians and even film critics, while some of the movies received negative, cold responses, especially from those who subscribe to ... continue reading


Filmmakers of 'Little Boy' receive mixed reviews -- audience approves, film critics are not convince Watch

Image of Little Boy is a movie about a young boy desperate to bring his father home for WWII.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Rotten Tomatoes gave the newly released movie, "Little Boy" a low rating, viewing it as rather unconvincing for fans, the filmmakers and some of the professional film critics. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - However, the movie was given positive approval ... continue reading


New 'Star Wars' trailer features plenty of surprises for fans Watch

Image of John Boyega, who left a lasting impression as the hero in the 2011 British horror film,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"The force - is back," and the new trailer in the "Stars Wars" installment, "Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens" packs quite a few surprises. Due to hit theaters during Christmas this year, the trailer's unveiling was attended by many actors in the ... continue reading


Empire of the Cross; Layers of Our Faith Watch

Image of

By Caitlin Bootsma

If you've ever visited Rome and had a sense of deja vu or that you were somehow "home", you wouldn't be the only one. Many Catholics feel this connection to the Eternal City, despite not having a drop of Italian blood in them. This feeling is reinforced by stumbling ... continue reading


Amazing documentary 'Planet Earth' plans sequel to uncover the unknown wilderness Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When the documentary series "Planet Earth" was shown on TV, a lot of people changed the way they see Mother Earth. The good news is, there is now going to be a sequel to the widely accepted film. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The downside, though, is it ... continue reading


Are movies encouraging kids to drink? New study shows relationship between 'boozy films' and teen drinking habits Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Research shows  a strong relationship between the drinking habits of teenagers and the choices of movies they watch. Young people are found to be more likely to consume and binge drink if they are into movies that feature the notable characters drinking alcohol. ... continue reading


Faith, hope and love: 'Little Boy' is movie for entire family Watch

Image of A motion picture intended to send audiences home with smiles on their faces,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A motion picture intended to send audiences home with smiles on their faces, "Little Boy," is a new World War II-era feature film. The story involves a 7-year-old child (Jakob Salvati) who wants his father to come home from battle. Promising to inspire ... continue reading


Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes promise lots of entertainment for month of April Watch

Image of Streaming original content, such as the superhero film

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Spring is in the air and streaming movies, TV shows and specials will be here to greet the sunnier season. Streaming original content, such as the superhero film "Marvel's Daredevil" will be the month's main draws. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - From ... continue reading


Late actor Paul Walker lives again - thanks to digital technology Watch

Image of Universal Pictures was able to complete its April 3 tent pole,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Actor Paul Walker, whose life was taken in a horrific traffic accident two years ago, will have the opportunity to live again - dying during the production of "Fast and Furious 7," Walker's scenes will be completed with digital technology. While this will ... continue reading


Luke Skywalker's home in 'Star Wars' invaded by ISIS Watch

Image of R2D2 and C3PO would probably feel out of place at the location that served as Tatooine in the original

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The desert planet of "Tatooine," Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hammill) home planet in the "Star Wars" series, was attacked and destroyed by storm troopers in the original installment of that science-fiction series. Art apparently imitated life, as the Tunisian location ... continue reading


All Movies News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 17:19-27
19 Their actions are all as plain as the sun to him, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7
1 [Of David Poem] How blessed are those whose offence ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:17-27
17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter