Rating: PG-13 (profanity, violence)
Year of U.S.A. Release: 2001
Cast: Antonio Banderas
, Olivia Williams
, John Shrapnel
, Derek Jacobi
, Jason Flemyng
, John Wood
, Ian McNeice
, Mohammed Bakri
Directed by: Jonas McCord
Written by: Jonas McCord, based upon the novel by Richard Ben Sapir
At the dawn of the new millennium
, in the cradle of faith that is Jerusalem
, two seemingly mismatched people from different worlds and cultures -- Vatican
-appointed Jesuit priest Matt Gutierrez (ANTONIO BANDERAS) and Israeli archaeologist Sharon Golban (OLIVIA WILLIAMS) -- make a tenuous alliance to investigate a find that not only threatens the very foundations of western religion, but also blow apart the region's fragile peace.
The above was taken from www.rottentomatoes.com
The last paragraph of this writeup contains a spoiler
of sorts, but since there are no characters in the scene and none of them ever finds out about it, it's kind of pointless as a spoiler.
A few times, Fr. Gutierrez recalls people who told him things that he believed without any doubt, and then found out that these things were wrong. I guess believing something without any doubt makes people feel good, though I don't think I ever do it myself. This movie strengthened my own tendency towards skepticism
One of Fr. Gutierrez' fellow Jesuit
s was an archaeologist
. This man thought he had found a solution to the conflict between his religious faith and scientific faith
, but Fr. Gutierrez presented evidence that made him reject this solution. I believe many people avoid this problem, either subconsciously
, or through skepticism or ignorance
. This movie introduces the problem without presenting much help in the way of solving it. I wanted to tell that scientist-priest: "It doesn't have to change your life." We like to think that we live by the one true religion, but this hubris
presents the problem that if some tenet of the faith turns out to be wrong, our lives would be meaningless. But really, the details of any particular religion are more like the different colors and styles of a jacket, whereas what keeps us warm are the beliefs in peace and kindness that are common to all religions.
Here's the spoiler: One particular scene showed a tablet with an ancient inscription that translated in the subtitle to "Please God, take my son David as you have taken your own son Jesus." I suspect that this brief scene was added in order to allow people to leave the movie without feeling that it went against everything they believe. One of the major points of the movie is that we'd be better off if it didn't matter so much whether or not Christ
actually rose from the dead. This scene was a slightly annoying tip of the hat
to those who don't want their faith tested. At least one character if not two or three mentioned that most believers would not be swayed against their faith by the scientific evidence that Christ had not risen, but someone with editorial influence believed that the thoughts of movie writers are more disturbing to people than the findings of scientists, so they added this scene to ease the disturbance.