Do you struggle like myself and many of my Catholic friends when it comes to what to watch? Almost everywhere we turn, entertainment mediums seem determined in attacking traditional Catholic family values. This can sometimes be very daunting. It certainly takes work in today's world to find Catholic-friendly channels, and I hope that if you are hungry for a few faith-based films, my suggestions will inspire your spirit.
So, let's take a look at a few Christian and distinctively Catholic films this week that won't make you feel like you lost an hour and a half of your life that you can't get back or that make you feel like you should instantly run to confession. These films will not leave you with fewer brain cells, will incorporate some entertaining Catholic Church history, and restore in you a sense of sanity that seems lost in a world of insanity.
First, we will look at the often overlooked "The Scarlet and the Black" which was made in 1983, starring Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer. This film is based on a true story that took place during the World War II. Here, we have the story of Fr. Hugh O'Flaherty, a Catholic Priest who was responsible for hiding thousands of Jews and escaped Allied prisoners of war. The Scarlet and the Black is a great historical film highlighting the time when Germany was controlling Rome, reminding us that even during times of great oppression, noble acts of charity are possible—and necessary, despite the risks.
The second film I will put out there is "A Man For All Seasons."
This is the film all true Catholics must have in their movie reserves. If, for some strange reason, you have not watched this film (which won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 39th Academy Awards,) you have to stop what you're doing right at this moment(unless you're driving) and rent or, better yet buy this film. First off, can you believe there was a time in cinema history that celebrated Catholic films like this? Based on the true story of Sir Thomas More, a scholar and statesman, he was above all else, a devout Roman Catholic. Thomas More stands by his religious principles against King Henry VIII, who wanted a divorce from his wife for a few reasons, but mostly so he could father a male heir. Henry VIII wants Thomas to appeal to the Pope for an annulment, but Thomas will not break from his obedience to the faith and the Church.
Thomas can be a reminder for us today in a world that seems to be standing at the precipice of moral decline, in that we can take a stand against the powers of evil and stand up for the teachings of the Catholic Church that has sought to preserve the hearts, minds and souls of civilization for the last 2000 years.
I hope you find joy in these films, and I leave you with a bit of trivia.
Do you know who the Pope was during the setting of the film "The Scarlet and Bible Black?"