Friday, 25 February 2011

Hollywood's depiction of the Church

Having been laid low over the last few days, I've been re-watching a couple of DVDs.
Are there any mainstream films that depict the Church with anything like sympathy or even a basic understanding? It doesn't seem as if there are that many, although Fr Mark may have found a recent French example here
One of my own favourites is Roland  Joffé's "The Mission," largely for the sympathetic treatment of the Jeremy Irons' character, the saintly Fr Gabriel, and the complex and understated introspection of Ray MacAnally's Cardinal - a truly great performance.
Yet Ridley Scott's 'Kingdom of Heaven,' despite the magnificence of its costumes and the gripping drama of its plot, comes across as decidedly anti-Christian (buying into the pervasive academic myth of a tolerant medieval Islam in the process) and almost comically anachronistic in its elevation of Hollywood's own pet agnostic liberal values. Still, given that the U.S. film industry seems to treat half its own compatriots with a similar degree of uncomprehending condescension, should we expect better in a film which attempts to grapple with one of the darker episodes of the Middle Ages?
But, a serious question - are there are any good and historically accurate broadly Catholic / Christian films out there which you would recommend?

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