Red State Report * News and some funny staff
The movie stars Andy Garcia as General Enrique Gorostieta who helps the rebel Catholics and Eva Longoria as his devote Catholic wife. For Greater Glory tells the story of the Mexican government’s attempt to stamp out the Catholic Church under President Calles (played by Ruben Blades), and the uprising that followed, a civil war that killed 90,000 people. Calles attempted to enforce the anti-clerical laws put into Mexico’s 1917 socialist Constitution by demanding the expulsion of foreign priests, banning public demonstrations of faith (including the wearing of clerical garb), and making criticism of the government by priests punishable by five years in prison. A boycott organized by the Catholic Church prompted Calles to get even tougher, and open war broke out. Enrique Gorostieta, a general who had fought for the winning side in the revolution, chose to lead the Cristero rebellion.When we went to the theater last night, I was pleasantly surprised to find a half-full theater. By the end, we could hear audience members crying behind us, which started in earnest with the martyrdom of Jose, a difficult scene which recalls Braveheart in some aspects, as does the rest of the film. No one left the theater until the credits were almost finished, and almost everyone stuck around all the way to the end. People barely spoke until they got out to the hallway outside the theater. That was a testimony to the power of For Greater Glory.Like most good historical films, For Greater Glory challenges the audience to consider the meaning of history and the conflicts involved rather than just give a rote retelling. The scenes between Garcia and Cabrera are especially good, as they touch on the very nature of faith and the conflict between faith and the fallen world. What does it mean to serve God? Can great good eventually come out of great evil, and if so, why? How does one serve God in evil times, or even in merely contentious times? Is religion a pastime for Sundays, or a way of life for every moment of our lives? The film doesn’t provide the answers as much as it shows the main characters struggling with the questions, and actors such as Garcia, Cabrera, Kuri, and Verastegui provide vibrant performances to spark contemplation of these questions among the viewers. That alone makes it worthwhile for me, but it’s a gripping film regardless.
Red State Report * Com / News and some funny staff
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