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Film of the Month - August



Films are an important feature of popular culture but can they also be a vehicle for theological enquiry? Veritas thinks they can! Every month during the Year of Faith, we offer a Film of the Month, which we invite you to watch, reflect on and discuss. As an initiative for the Year of Faith, you might like to start a Year of Faith Film Club in your work, school or parish community, where these films can be discussed and shared. Film reviews are kindly provided by Fr John-Paul Sheridan PhD.


Film of the Month for August: Mr Holland’s Opus


We are your symphony Mr. Holland.

We are the melodies and the notes of your opus.

We are the music of your life.



This is the second film that I have presented here which has at its center the life and career of a teacher.  Mr. Holland’s Opus tells was released in 1995 and starred Richards Dreyfus at the hero of the story, and included Glenne Headley, William H. Macy, Jay Thomas, and Olympia Dukakis.  It was written by Patrick Sheane Duncan and directed by Stephen Herek.  It tells the story of a musician, who to make money, takes a job as a music teacher.  He spend the next 30 or so years as a teacher, assuming by the end of his teacher career that he has wasted his life teaching and has not been able to pursue his real passion, composing. 



Essentially it is a story about a life in pursuit of one goal, which becomes sacrificed to the living out of a life, accompanied by a cast of family, friends, students, and colleagues.  From the beginning Glenn Holland is only teaching to pay the rent and support his wife, and then his son.  He is constantly drawn back to a piece  of music which he spends his life composing, so that he might leave his mark on the world.  By the end of the film it becomes apparent that his music is not the mark that Holland has left on the world, it his impact on the lives of all whom he has encountered.


It is the story of a vocation: not as a musician, but as a teacher; not as the composer of great music, but the shaper and influence on minds and hearts.


For a film synopsis and questions for reflection, please click here.


Previous Films of the Month:

July 2013: Romero

June 2013: No Greater Love

May 2013: The Way

April 2013: Freedom Writers

March 2013: Of Gods and Men

February 2013: Song of Bernadette

January 2013: Brother Sun, Sister Moon

December 2012: It’s a Wonderful Life!

November 2012: Shadowlands

October 2012: The Mission


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