A young journalist long ago rejected by his now aged and dying father finds himself investigating one of his fathers former friends, a candidate for canonization. Uncovering the two mens complicated relationship from childhood through the horrors of the Spanish Civil War unveils a compelling drama filled with passion, betrayal, love and religion. An action packed story set during a murderous time in history that ultimately serves the present by revealing the importance and timeless power of forgiveness.
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If you are looking for high tech spiffs or guns and gore, you might be a little disappointed. However, this movie is deeply compelling and will make you shed tears....The dual play between the virtues and sins of Manolo and Josemaria is deeply moving - definitely no straight forward moralistic story telling. Watch it and it will change your life for good - wherever you are. The story will linger and stir your soul...
Excellent movie where we see two people who follow different paths. One struggling to be faithful to his believes and the other following his desires and inclinations.This is a summary of the story of all of us one way or another. I was surprised and please to see that at the end of the movie many showed their approval of the movie by clapping.
The tormented life of one person along side of one who accepted sacrifices and disappointment with grace, a true path to facing your dragons and demons...
A beautiful movie about life choices, regret, love, lost love, and thenthe redemptive value of forgiveness. A great movie to bring youngadults and teenagers to show them two people who have the same start inlife make choices and how those choices changes and moves the lives ofall those around them. I was surprised by the power of the message andthe beauty of the film. Acting was superb and my teenage boys and theirfriends that we took with us were deeply moved... as well as I. Afterthe movie, my 14 year old son admitted that he hoped if he died beforea natural death it could be as a martyr... he is reconsidering optionsof priesthood. Thank you for producing and making such a beautiful andtouching movie.
Joffe tells an intricate story of how two people take very different paths during war-torn Spain. It is a visually rich and carefully threaded movie that takes on an ambitious challenge: how does God fill our lives or how we flee when we choose to find our own meaning. It makes you really think about the directions people take, the choices they make and how love and forgiveness can save us. It's an excellent movie that takes a look at the humanity of a saint and a sinner - it probably needs to be seen twice to appreciate it's heart and vision.
This could have been so much better...The story is a good one, but theacting is off the stage, as in overdone and it comes across as a bitwooden on screen. When practicing for a stage part which included useof a fencing foil, I remember being taught to exaggerate my swings forthe benefit of the audience. Over-working something on film might workfor slap-stick comedy, but it's out of place in this drama. Speaking ofheavy-handing, the end of the movie reminds me of something done bySpielberg: a point is driven hard and openly upon the audience, but itdoesn't go well with the final scene! Something seemed to have fallenout of the script, or been plugged in at the last, very detrimental! Ifelt the movie had a lot to say, but there seemed only about fifteenminutes of drag. Lots of emotion was generated, and this in a personwho is not into traditional religion. A serious film that is seriouslyflawed by bad directing! (actors are better when you ask it of them;script seemed worthy, which meant major flaw at end was one ofinterpretation, not writing) Vote: the 6 which could have been at leastan 8.5!
Just a manipulation of history, again, by the Opus Dei. Don't forgetmany cabinet ministers in the Franco governments of the 60s weremembers of this "sect" and acknowledged ("enterado") the dictator'smany death sentences in those years. As for the film andreconciliation, the forget the epilogue: 40 years of forgiveness? Itseems that those years do not exist for the film-maker...For thedirector the war had no consequences, it is an "unfinished" film andtotally biased: why the Spanish left, especially the rural workingclasses were so against priests and church? No look at this backgroundof starvation for the poor and privileges for the church. In fact, manypriests participated in the rebeld side with their guns at the side...Ask my parents about"forgiveness" in Spain during those Opus years...As for JoseMari... I bet he would be laughing at it!
This movie is not about the Spanish Civil War and it is not a true story (it is *based* on a true story), so do not approach this movie with those expectations.That said, I think this film is worth the investment in terms of time and money. It does a wonderful job showing the roots of the organisation, Opus Dei, and its founder, Saint Jose Maria Escriva. My only gripe is that the fictional aspect of the movie (i.e. the journalist and his unknowing quest to get closer to his father) sort of distracted from the main focus of the movie. However, this distraction is to what the title of the film is referring.It certainly helps if you are Catholic, because there may be subtle things that you will pick up, but it certainly does not mean that non-Catholics will not enjoy the film too.Final cavaet: too much violence for it to be a family film, but it may be appropriate for older teens.I recommend you go see this movie soon, because it is very likely that the film (in limited release) may not be in theatres for more than a few weeks.
The movie has politically engaged to twist the truths during the riseof fascism. Catholic church was supporting fascist regimes,Nazis,Franco and Mussolini. During Spanish civil war church wassupporting Franco with information of revolutionary forces andtormenting facilities heritage of famous Spanish Inquisition. Waragainst fascist in Spain was between Army vs people. Assaults onchurches were judgement of people after trial by people itself. Andjudges were already the habitants of the region who knows culprit best.So this movie is nothing more than a cheap way of propaganda andtwisting of truth to cover Catholic church cooperation with the enemiesof humanity.
I am making it a rewarding habit lately looking for quality movies not being heavily promoted by Hollywood. This is not a fantasy film about the mythical creatures. Powerful movie on the nature of hate, choices and forgiveness taking place during the Spanish Civil War. Incredible group of actors and acting unknown in Hollywood gossip magazines.Want to avoid feeling ripped off, select critic ignored movies highly rated by viewers that play in only a few theaters.
Roland Joffe wakes up after two decades of bad cinema. Like a thephoenix bird he come again with interesting cinema.The film is technically quite interesting. It starts with a shortsequence that shows the deepest Spanish soul in a lost village nearFrance. This sequence has an impeccable cut and setting, and works asintroduction of the characters and situation. In my opinion the bestsequence (speaking as cinema "freak"). The best thing in the film isthe photography, which takes the viewer 1920s Spain.The script is also quite interesting. Although the main character inthe film is the Spanish priest Josemaria Escriva, he is not theprotagonist of the story. This makes the film more interesting, as itplays with 2 people weighting their importance by their personality andtheir role in the story. Josemaria is the alter-ego Manolo, both areattractive persons that keep the attention of the viewer, which at theend should judge. Another success of the script is the usage of time.The main story happens in 1920 and 1930, but it is told as memories inthe 80s, when the son of Manolo has to write an article aboutJosemaria, which is going to be canonized by the Catholic Church.Robert discovers that his father came from the same little village ofJosemaria, and asks to his father about him. The answer give the titleto the film "there be dragons".Now let's go with the dragons. The makers knew that the film was goingto be surrounded by dragons. Opus Dei, communism, revolution, Catholicsand the Spanish Civil War... this film has all the ingredients to be abig scandal. The film has the collaboration of some members of the OpusDei (at least 2 of the producers are) and the organization has giveninformation and access to the documentation about Josemaria. The filmalso shows a period of the Spanish history which still is a taboo inthis country. In Spain, still today, there are mainly 2 oppositestreams: pro-franquists and pro-republicans. The film success- in myopinion- to show that as in any war there were no good and bads (whichhas shocked the Spanish population), that in both sides there were goodand bad people, good goals but bad means. My personal opinion is thatit success to show the real left of Spain, breaking with the franquistpropaganda of the left as communist criminals, but also breaking theview given to Americans by Hemingway that the left in Spain was theadvocate of Democracy and freedom. Maybe the film fails to show theright-side of the war, but nevertheless is- in my opinion- the bestrepresentation of the civil war that I have seen in art. Only a non-Spanish could make such a good representation of the CivilWar, and only a person like Joffe could dive enough to make such a goodrepresentation. I like Joffe because he takes a field and goes deepenough to explain the reasons. It was shown in the Mission and inKilling Fields, and here we are in front of the same Joffe. I admirehim because he forgets his own point of view (I have read that he isagnostic), investigates and tries to find the keystone. Some people hassaid that this film is the answer of the Opus to the Da Vinci CodeÂ well I think it comes to late, because the DVC was released 5 or 6years ago. On the other hand, if it is an answer, it works well. TheDVC shows us a people that, in my opinion, is impossible that are realÂ I don't know but I don't believe that in the World are people so crazyÂ for example they are shown flagellating themselves (which is also shownin There Be Dragons), but in the DVC they are doing soÂ while they knowthat Christ wasn't God! It makes no sense, no one does something likethat to offer to a God, that they know is not God at allÂ As this thefilm is full of incoherencesÂ on the other hand There Be Dragons showsboth what they do (not the myth) and also explains whyÂ In my opinionthis is what makes the difference between good and bad cinema (whenyour idea is to speak about real things). I would also like to answer to some of the critics: please speak aboutthe film, because people wants to know about it. If we would like toknow about the Opus we could go to their web page, or just write Opusin Google. Here we come to speak about cinema. Also someone said thatthe rating is not trustful because all the Opus Dei's people will vote10Â well they rate 10 because they liked it as a 10, and have the sameright as the people that are not members of the associationÂ IMDb worksdemocratically, so their vote counts as well. The only problem would beif they vote without having watched the film, if the organization hascommanded to vote in IMDbÂ but well there are some 150 high votes, itdoesn't seem to be the result of some strange "conspiracy"Â Well, myfinal advice is: you will hear a lot about the film. Some people willspeak really well about it, some really bad, and some will just speakabout the Civil War or the Opus DeiÂ with this film is gonna be reallydifficult to know if it is good or notÂ so I suggest you to watch itand make your own opinion. It maybe not one of the best films in thelast 10 years, but nevertheless it's a must watch.
I saw a screening of the movie a few weeks ago... to date, it continuesto come back to me through out the day. It has left me thinking so muchabout my life, relationships, Love, my beliefs, my work, etc. There areso many layers to this movie... It's not a movie for the superficial orthose who just want to be entertained over popcorn and then move on totheir next thriller. It's a deep movie that engages the mind and heart,hopefully engaging the viewer to think of the morally pivotal momentsin life and the choices made. I think there is a little bit of a Manoloin each of our lives... something each one of us needs to come to ternswith. Hopefully, as with Manolo, there is a Josemaria in each of ourpaths. I highly recommend this movie! It's a movie you can't just seeonce!
A story about a priest and his boyhood friend, as they go through life with extraordinary moral challenges in 1930s Spain, including the civil war. The priest becomes saintly, his friend takes a much more interesting path, but the path is littered with the emotionally and physically dead. This movie will consume your attention for two hours. I cried at the last, which has at least two surprises.I have read other comments, those that grade C or worse appear to have a religious agenda. Do not go if you will be bothered by seeing a story of a good man who is a priest.
Roland JoffÃ© did not disappoint me with this film. I am a firstgeneration spaniard and I find JoffÃ©'s portrayal of the Civil Warhonest and fair. The story is not engulfed by facts of history, ittakes great care in exploring the mysteries of the characters'backgrounds.On one side we have the historical figure of Jose Maria Escribar,tormented in his search for God and holding firmly to his ideals whilesubmerged in a world of hatred and chaos. On the other Manolo, hauntedby vengeance and confusion; fighting without a cause and desperatelysearching for something he can believe him, an answer to his innerchaos. Finally, Roberto, son of Manolo, must slowly unveil the terriblesecrets his father has hidden within him and come to terms with findingout who the man that brought him up was.The film explores the senseless nature of war and its consequences, thespiral of hatred that slowly engulfs men, the repentance for terriblemistakes and the struggle to forgive them. Each character follows apath filled with dilemmas and suffering at the end of which they mustfight themselves and their dragons.Technicalwise, the film is faultless. There is great care in everyscene and as I can testify JoffÃ© has done his homework. The detail towhich the history and scenery of 1937 Spain has been recreated isastounding. Even so, the story talks about people, about soldiers;never about leaders or politicians. The film captures the essence ofhuman conflict in its most raw form.Do not expect an action packed war film. For those who have interest inthe roots of Opus Dei, this film will not help you there. It deals withthe repercussions of war and strife in people, it does not deal withthe grander scale of things.If nothing else this film will reassure you that war is and always willbe a futile tragedy, all victories are Pyrrhic and the aftermath leavesbitter resentment and pain. An interesting perspective in this film isthat of the many bystanders who are forced to choose the side theysupport and so they must be separated from loved ones forever. When afew want war, the rest have no say. As long as the hatred of so few isnot buried, war will rise once more.There Be Dragons is a deeply personal and spiritual film. It is veryintense and reflects unapologetically the worst side of humanity. It istrue to the title, where this film takes you, there be dragons.
The problem with this film at IMDb is to know the real and final score.Right now is eight (8). 119 users of 147 voted ten (10), 14 voted nine(9), 6 voted eight (8). The others users voted lower than six (6).Well, or this is a spectacular film or we have a problem here. Thisscore seems to me a little unreal and unbelievably.Knowing Opus Dei since 1980, I think these 119 users are probably OpusDei voters only and want to keep the score so higher as possible.Why does this matter? Because a score should be representative andproduct of neutral or spontaneous voting. Well, I can barely believethis is the case. Let's see what happen in the next months.And what about the film? Well, if somebody wants to know about Escrivaand his Opus Dei, this film does not tell too much. This is a very light film without any real information and questionslike: How Opus Dei as organization was actually built since 1928? WhyOpus Dei is in a very deep internal crisis since ten or fifteen yearsago? Why a lot of people are leaving Opus Dei in the last years (inSpain, Mexico, Argentina, etc.)? Why is not so easy to leave Opus Dei?Yes, it is not easy but a lot of people fight for. Is it true thatEscrivÃ¡ declared whoever leaves Opus Dei will suffer a lot in this lifeand his eternal salvation will be in danger? Why so many celibatemembers suffer from depression? Is it possible that Opus Deipsychiatrists do not keep the professional secrecy and inform to OpusDei superiors if a member talks about leaving Opus Dei? Yeah, that is atough question to be made. How is possible that EscrivÃ¡ became saintmainly because the testimony of his confessor? Why celibate membershave to make a will (pro Opus Dei) like monks do before the perpetualincorporation? Why celibate members have to give their salary away likesome monks do? Why lay members have to request a pardon of departure(dispense) to leave Opus Dei (like monks do) only need in the case ofsacred vows? Is that because without knowing they really are bounded bysome kind of sacred vows? Why lay persons have obligations - withoutknowing and without consent- that the Code of Canon Law establishedonly for a consecrated life? Is there any kind of deception in all ofthis?After these questions, you know a serious film about Opus Dei andEscrivÃ¡ is waiting to be made.I am not going to vote. I rather write this brief review.
This is a movie that has been well-endorsed by the Catholic Church herein our country. It is supposed to deal with the life of a saint, St.Josemaria Escriva, the founder of the controversial organization, theOpus Dei. I must admit that even if I had friends who were members ofOpus Dei, I do not really know much about them or about theirorganization, only what I hear from the outside. I am mostly interestedto learn the historical milieu of this film that is why I wanted towatch this.The story is told in flashbacks from the point of view of one ManoloTorres as his estranged son Robert interviews him about his friendJosemaria Escriva (who was then already on his way to becoming a saintin 1982). Manolo and Josemaria were childhood friends. Classdifferences broke up their friendship as the kids grew up. The outbreakof the Spanish Civil War broke them up even more, as Josemaria wentinto the priesthood and Manolo went with an anti-clerical militiagroup. Important revelations about Robert himself would also surface ashis father begs for forgiveness for his past.It felt ironic that Escriva was not exactly the central character ofthis movie since all the publicity was about him. We do see thebeginning of his organization of lay workers who lived together, muchlike today's Opus Dei centers. But other than that, Escriva was merelya side character in the main story of Manolo and his efforts to findredemption for his terrible decisions in his life. You will not reallylearn much detail about Escriva by watching this film, but you may beinspired to learn more about him. In fact, during the latter third ofthe film, the character of Escriva was not even on screen until theepilogue.The story was admittedly very slow to unfold (nearly two hours), but weare treated to some masterfully beautiful cinematography. I was excitedto see the name of Roland Joffe as the director. It had certainly beena very long time since he gave us classics like "The Mission" and "TheKilling Fields," and you can really see his classy touch here. For afilm with heavy religious undertones, I was surprised to learn thatJoffe was an agnostic. That may actually have been good for this film,as it did not go overboard with religious propaganda. The acting of theleads Wes Bently (as Manolo) and Charlie Cox (as Escriva) wereproficient though a bit wooden. I also welcomed the unexpected presenceof exotic Bond Girl Olga Kurilenko as Ildiko, the tragic woman inManolo's life. I think this movie is worth the time to watch, and maybeeven re-watch.
Some people look for dragons. Some look for sex, violence, specialeffects, but I think what makes a movie is depicting the capacity ofthe human person for greatness not in extraordinary situations or superheroes like Marvel characters but in ordinary "I could be that person"situations. This movie did it especially the liberating effect offorgiveness. I applaud Joffe for attempting to take on the SpanishCivil War, a very confusing period in the history of Spain. It was veryclever to show how it was like in how it affected the characters in themovie which made it easier to digest than a history class. No offenseto history teachers! A movie that extends to a viewer after seeing itis well worth watching. Inspiring! Go see it!
Truly one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I appreciatedthe pacing and the strong story line - really, the plot is the starhere. Not an epic film, but really well done and tremendously overrated. The acting is decent and the characters are believable, albeitnot all are truly likable (but hey, I don't watch movies expecting tolike the characters).The Spanish Civil War isn't a common setting for movies and I think itmakes for an excellent backdrop. The bit about Opus Dei is alsointeresting. I was afraid the film was going to get a bit too religiousfor me, but fortunately it maintained the right balance. Definitely amust see!
There be dragons is not a story about a certain movement. Nor is it a story of certain individuals. There be Dragons, is a story of all of us, and the things that happen with our lives in the absence of faith and reason. What event in history can best describe this, other than the Spanish Civil War-life is a battlefield. Explorers in the past often coin the phrase "there be dragons," in order to depict the unknown as dangerous. Hence figures of dragons are imprinted on navigational maps in order to describe uncharted waters.We all have uncharted waters and dragons to face. They are found in the 'truth' which we find difficult to accept--because the truth hurts. But once we learned to face it with courage, then the truth shall set us free.Our weakness becomes someones strength. and someones strength, becomes our weakness.This movie for sure will not change ones opinion in life, but it is a "must see" for all moviegoers.
The level of specific instances of violence was a surprise but it was a Joffe movie and he likes to blow things up! The story was very good and the message of availability of forgiveness was hopeful and powerful!