Saturday, March 31, 2012

Zenit Picks Up A Story On Cristiada

Or For Greater Glory, or whatever they are calling it now. The article/review has a couple of interesting points.

First, the movie apparently covers that General Gorostieta was not exactly a devout Catholic. I'll be interested to see how they handle this, given that there were a wide range of Cristiada leaders who were and arguably had a more compelling story around them (eg- Jesus Degollado, who was a pharmacist before he took the Cross).

Second, the reviewer states that:

One weakness of the film, however, is that it lacks adequate character and plot formation at the beginning. It’s not clear why the government becomes so anti-clerical and antagonistic toward the Church. Mexico’s then-President, Plutarco Elías Calles, appears in the film to arbitrarily loathe the Church simply because he’s an atheist, but little other explanation is given.

The omission possibly owes itself to the complex and intricate politics that preceded the Cristero War. In short, the 1910 Mexican Revolution led to an increase in Marxist anticlericalism, made worse by the fact that the Church hierarchy later lent its support to a counterrevolutionary called Victoriano Huerta.

Except that there is more than a little white-washing going on in that critique. To root all of this in Huerta's activities is to ignore most of Mexican history from beforehand. I advise the book Blood-Drenched Altars by Fr. Francis Kelley for a good overview. Or we can just ask former Mexican president Vincente Fox why the persecution occurred:

After 1917, Mexico was led by anti-Catholic Freemasons who tried to evoke the anticlerical spirit of popular indigenous President Benito Juárez of the 1880s. But the military dictators of the 1920s were a more savage lot than Juárez.

So, yeah, it was in the works way before 1910. Let's face it, though. Nobody expected to see this movie be blunt about the fact that the persecution that led to the Cristiada was part of a Masonic scheme to destroy the Church. Given that there was no way in hell they were going to lay blame where it was deserved, I think I can look beyond some alleged lack of plot formation.

Third, it looks like we aren't going to see anything regarding the evidence that Calles's troops were fighting with arms from America.

Fourth, the article brings up how the Cristiada has been 1984'd out of the Mexican history books.

Remarkably, as the revolutionary party went on to rule Mexico for the next 70 years, details of the conflict were largely hidden from many Mexicans. “We never knew about it, it’s not in the official curriculum of the schools,” said Juan A. Mercado, a native of Mexico City and associate professor of modern philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. “We learned about it through family, or at university you’d hear a bit about it. It was a taboo, the state didn’t want it known and yet it was a huge movement in the country."

The movie also contains occasional moments of humor and, largely through exchanges between General Gorostieta and various other characters, the movie acts as a kind of catechesis by explaining the importance and meaning of the Christian faith. For [film producer Pablo Jose] Barroso, who is in real estate rather than film production, this was a significant motive for making the picture, but also a challenge.

“It’s necessary to show that everyone is searching for faith, but they don’t know where or how to find it, then they read about this story,” he told me. “I thought that it’s amazing that even Mexicans don’t know about it, and that pushed me into doing this.”

How extraordinary. With a couple of more months to go, I wonder if/when we'll start to see some more mainstream buzz.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the elite-owned mainstream dinosaur media to hype this film. It teaches some history that was purposely removed from the books, much like most of our own history, and that of others around the world.