Thursday, April 15, 2004
Help the Little Flower's story come to the big screen  

Even before I had heard of the Passion of the Christ, I had been following the remarkable story of Luke Films efforts to produce a film about the Little Flower through private funding alone. Leonardo Defilippis is the head of Luke Films. Filmed versions of his one man shows on saints including St. Maximillian Kolbe and St. John of the Cross have appeared on EWTN. These are powerful dramas that capture the essence of the saints he has portrayed.

Appropriately enough, the release long-awaited release date for the file Thérèse is set for her feast day on October 1st of this year. For more information on the film visit the official movie site.

In an article in National Review Online, Defilippis writes about the universal appeal of Therese and her Little Way:

Why is Thérèse so popular, and why the flood of support for a film on her life? Thérèse Martin's short life as a 19th-century French nun might have been buried in obscurity if she hadn't written down her story and her spiritual philosophy before her premature death from tuberculosis at age 24. Her sister, who was also the mother superior of the monastery, asked her to write down her childhood reminiscences, and out of obedience Therese complied. What followed was not just a charming story of her early life, but also a clear explanation of her "little way" to get to Heaven. This little book spread like wildfire throughout the world, because of the simple ideas that Saint Thérèse presented: how ordinary people can grow close to God through the day-to-day tasks in their lives. After her death in 1897, miracles attributed to the young nun's intercession began to be documented almost immediately, and the Carmelite nun was put on the fast track to sainthood and canonized in 1925.

This unassuming country girl, who entered the convent at the unheard-of young age of 15, has since been honored as a Doctor of the Catholic Church — one of only 33 people so recognized in history for their epochal contributions to the body of theological wisdom (heady acclaim from a church whose critics portray it as sexist).

Her popularity continues to this day, and everywhere I promote this film and ask people for help I hear remarkable stories of Saint Thérèse's continuing influence — and not just among Catholics. Her autobiography has been translated into 66 languages, and even some Muslims revere her as "Allah's little saint."

Thérèse is a very gentle film, but it is also filled with dramatic passion for Christ. Set in the late 19th century, with a majestic score, this lavish period piece has the look of an Impressionist painting. The first half of the film chronicles Therese's life in her close-knit family, and the colors, sets, and costumes are rich and in keeping with the Victorian period, and with the insular world of a protected child. When she enters the monastery, although the world there is one of asceticism and simplicity, the colors lighten up, and reflect the joy that enters this young girl's life in a happy period. But then, as her death approaches, everything becomes dark. I am very pleased with the overall look of the film, because it reflects the depth and beauty of Thérèse herself.

To find out more about how you can help promote the film or see that it comes to your area visit the Thérèse movie site.

Posted by David at 6:39 PM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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