Note: Click on the title of any movie embedded in a blog to leave it and go straight to YouTube.
Padre Pio: Miracle Man. Padre Pio is played by Sergio Castellitto in this movie produced in 2000. Italians tend to make film of saints that either get the natural right or the supernatural right, but this gets both right on Padre Pio. It’s 3.5 hours long. I don’t think any Padre Pio flick will soon top Miracle Man starring Castellitto.1 Miracle Man is in Italian with English subtitles.
God of Wonders (2008.) This is a movie made by evangelical Protestants about all of the micro-wonders and macro-wonders of the universe. There is no theology that would be considered contrary to the Catholic deposit of the faith. In fact, it’s a surreptitious proof for the traditional Catholic teaching against evolution. Most importantly, it’s a very high production value of the beauties of the universe that will make your whole family want to praise God for His intelligence, beauty and diversity found in His creation.
Archbishop Lefebvre: A documentary. I have been a priest for 12 years, and the first half of that time I called AB. Lefebvre “a schismatic.” The Webber family asked me to watch this in 2014 and perhaps a year later I was bored and watched this. This movie is what changed my entire view towards Lefebvre. It ultimately spurred my research to find that the SSPX is not schismatic. This movie made me realize that what St. Francis Xavier was the to Far East, Lefebvre was to the West Coast of Africa. AB. Lefebvre was not a delicate liturgist obsessed with the minutiae of lace-debates, but a zealous and charitable missionary bishop who made countless converts to the Catholic faith before he was asked to do the very thing he never wanted to do—publicly correct and defy a Pope who was harming the Church with modernism.
остров (Ostrov, The Island.) The Island is a fictional Russian movie made in 2006 that I first saw in seminary. In the opening scene from the early 1940s, a cowardly skipper on a Soviet ship in the far reaches of northeast Russia is blown up by Nazis in the opening scene. He is rescued by monks and spends the next 50+ years as a monk-penitent himself. (His self-inflicted life-penance is actually in reparation for what he did in the very opening scene on that communist warship.) In the West, we only have a few holy fools like St. Francis of Assisi and St. Philip Neri. But the East has a whole category of holy fools (юродивый, in Russian). The yurodivy are not actually insane, but just mess with their own penitents to crush both their own egos and those of their penitents. This flick’s main monk (Pyotr Mamonov, formerly a rock musician in the USSR who died in 2021) gets everything right from prophesy to abortion to exorcism. It’s one of the few movies I could watch every year. (The producer allegedly made this movie to annoy the Russian Orthodox Church, but they warmly embraced it, and it won many awards in secular Russia.) In Russian, with English subtitles.
Maafa 21 – Black Genocide in 21st Century America. Most pro-lifers now know the racist origins of Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood. But most do not know that the American Birth Control League became Planned Parenthood in 1942 and long before Sanger it had before leaders like Lothrap Stoddard who worked closely with Himmler and Hitler on eradicating “unwanted” races. This documentary also discusses that Charles Darwin’s original book full title was The Origin of Species by Natural Selection -or- the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. Discover in Maafa 21 the horrible truth that four days of America’s abortion mills kills as many blacks as a total of 150 years of the KKK. I suggest parental discretion on kids watching this, but teens should be fine to view it.
All or Nothing: Sr. Clare Crockett. To be perfectly honest, I roll my eyes when someone tells me there’s another new saint since the 1970s. So, when the real-life friends of the young Sr. Clare Crockett asked me to watch this movie on a very holy modern nun, I similarly rolled my eyes. Ironically, like my resistance to the Lefebvre documentary above, (but on the other side of the ecclesiological spectrum) I ultimately cracked and watched this movie. I was so happy they helped me discover this newly-deceased holy religious woman, even though she had little or no knowledge of the Traditional Latin Mass or old sacraments.
The Conflict aka Catholics. This is an oddly-prophetic movie made in 1973 about an island monastery in Ireland that wishes to stick to the old doctrine and the old liturgy. A yoga-loving priest (Martin Sheen) is sent from Rome to remote Ireland. He is armed not with a gun, but with a smile, asking them to speed up to the current times of the world in especially accepting the new ways of the Vatican. The producers of this movie obviously had some idea of the reforms, but I’m not sure they were even practicing Catholics. In fact, certain parts of the movie reveal a vocabulary that only became pronounced in the Vatican after 2013. Very interesting for a movie made in 1973! This is one of my favorite movies, for it preempted the pain of all traditionalists Catholics today throughout the world. (Watch closely at the end to see that the “conflict” itself is first a crisis of faith, and only secondly is it a crisis of liturgy.)
Le Sorcier Du Ciel- The life of St. John Vianney. This is a charming French production that captures the gentleness and zeal of the great patron saint of parish priests. It’s very edifying, but low-quality on the sharpness of image. In French with English Subtitles.