Film of the Month - September
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 September: Babette’s Feast
‘It is not for nothing that the central rite of Christ's religion is not a fast but a feast, as if to say that the one indispensable requirement for obtaining a portion in Him is an appetite, some hunger – is to be without what we must have and He can give’
A. J. Gossip, The Galilean Accent, 1926
In 1995 Pope John Paul II addressed the Pontifical Commission for Social Communications on the 100th anniversary of the invention of motion pictures by the Lumière brothers. He suggested that ‘the film industry has become a universal medium exercising a profound influence on the development of people’s attitudes and choices, and possessing a remarkable ability to influence public opinion and culture across all social and political frontiers.’ To mark the occasion of the anniversary the Pontifical Council listed forty-five films that would act as indicators to the validity of the Pope’s remarks. One of those films was The Mission, which was the first film studied in this Year of Faith. This month’s film was also listed.
Babette’s Feast was directed by Gabriel Axel and released in 1987. It was performed in Danish and French with subtitles, and was set on the Danish peninsula of Jutland. The story is by the Danish writer Karen Blixen (a.k.a. Isak Dinesen), who was the author and subject of the 1985 film Out of Africa, which starred Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.
Babette’s Feast won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1987, the first Danish-language film to do so. It also won a BAFTA and was nominated for a Golden Globe. Finally, it is reported to be Pope Francis’s favourite film.
For a film synopsis and questions for reflection, please click here.
Previous Films of the Month:
August 2013: Mr Holland’s Opus
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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