Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There Be Dragons

I am currently at the Theology of the Body Congress in Philadelphia. It is a gathering of many who believe in the power of the message of John Paul II's Theology of the Body. There are some real influential movers and shakers here including academics, leaders, catechists, priests, religious, bishops, laity, etc. from around the country and more than a dozen countries.

We were privileged to get see the first screening of There Be Dragons outside of LA tonight. It is a new movie which will be released in theaters this fall. It is a major motion picture and is currently in post-production, so we saw an unfinished version of the movie. Because of a confidentiality agreement, I can't give details, but suffice it to say - this one isn't your run-of-the-mill "Catholic" film that doesn't have the budget to put together a nice production. Rather, it is a major motion picture with a message for us all.

The film is based upon the life of St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei (who, if you aren't familiar with him - he is a rock star of a Saint you need to get to know). It really brought St. Josemaria alive for me in a new way. It moved me. Once I am able, I will give details about the film. But, you should know this - you will not regret seeing this film. Not one tiny bit.

Roland Joffe is the director of the film. He also directed one of my favorite films of all time - The Mission - as well as The Killing Fields. He was nominated for the Oscar for best director for both films. He is top-notch and There Be Dragons nears the same level of film making.

More about the film from a recent press release:
New major motion film reflects on the life of Opus Dei founder, St. Josemaría Escrivá

View a trailer at

Hollywood, CA, July 28— Academy Award nominated director Roland Joffé returns to Hollywood with an epic film that explores the nature of humanity in his latest movie “There Be Dragons.” The famed director of the deeply Catholic film “The Mission” returns to a spiritual plot in his latest film, a powerful story of forgiveness and reconciliation woven around the figure of St. Josemaría Escrivá during the Spanish republic and Civil War in the mid 1930s. The film combines action, adventure, passion and romance with the extraordinary drama of human tragedy and Divine redemption.

Recently, more than 68 million Catholics in the United States and more than1 billion around the world marked the feast day of St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. Without question, this controversial religious organization and the entire Catholic Church have been the subjects of much criticism and conspiracies. Yet, even during these challenging times, the life of this intriguing Catholic figure has inspired the making of a $35 million major motion picture.

Related: Currently playing on Franciscan Radio is an interview I did with them about Theology of the Body. You can listen to it here (start about 19 minutes in). One mistake they made is that I am not presenting at the TOB Congress, which is actually quite nice for a change.


Christina said...

It was a hard movie to watch; I don't watch war movies. It's a wonderful story of redemption packed full of emotion.

Kalynne Pudner said...

I saw the screening in Atlanta this week, and I cannot stop it from rolling around in my mind. May 6 can't come soon enough for me!

Love your remark about St. Josemaria being a "rock star of a Saint" -- and this movie made me love him even more.