Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A STORY OF FAITH AND EVIL

I finally got to watch the movie Philomena over the weekend.

It is the story of Philomena Lee, an Irish Roman Catholic woman's search for her long lost son who was put up for adoption by Nuns.

It is based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee.

A few months ago I had read some reviews of the movie. As a person who knows too well the torrents of emotion involved with a forced adoption by an unwed teen and the unchallenged authority of the Church - this movie was on my must see list.

I was expecting a cross between The Magdalene Laundries and The Boys Of St. Vincent, a recollection of the power and abuse of the church.

The hunt for the truth, for her son is an emotional journey. The incredulousness held by Sixsmith on learning the extent of the lies and cover-ups is balanced by Philomena's enduring faith and forgiveness for the individuals who treated her with such cruelty, and the church that allowed them to do it.

At one point the pair cross horns. The reporter can not understand Philomena's faith in the face of the reality of how she has been misled for decades. She asks Martin if he was the one who gave birth and lost the child?

Earlier this month, Philomena had an audience with Pope Francis in Rome. The Pontiff who rarely watches movies has viewed the film which depicts how those charged with helping these lost women sold their children and burned the adoption records.

The lessons of the movie reflect the cornerstone of a new era of Catholicism under Pope Francis. It is an important force for good in our world.

Philomena is up for a number of Oscars.



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