Viva Cristo Rey!

This film, based on a true story, looks terrific!

I admit that, like many Americans, my understanding of the Cristero War is pretty sketchy. I know about the martyrdom of the Jesuit priest Miguel Pro (how many great martyrs have been Jesuits!) and I had heard of Bl. Jose Sanches del Rio, and I know that these Catholic sisters were founded by a brave and determined Mexican woman, and that they still sing “Viva Cristo Rey!” But honestly, that’s about all I know.

Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey writes:

I’ve had a chance to look at a very rough cut of this film, and it’s very impressive. For Greater Glory tells the story of the Mexican government’s attempt to stamp out the Catholic Church under President Calles (played by Ruben Blades), and the uprising that followed, a civil war that killed 90,000 people. Calles attempted to enforce the anti-clerical laws put into Mexico’s 1917 socialist Constitution by demanding the expulsion of foreign priests, banning public demonstrations of faith (including the wearing of clerical garb), and making criticism of the government by priests punishable by five years in prison. A boycott organized by the Catholic Church prompted Calles to get even tougher, and open war broke out. Enrique Gorostieta (Andy Garcia), a general who had fought for the winning side in the revolution, chose to lead the Cristero rebellion, and the film focuses mainly on Gorostieta, two of his lieutenants, and a young boy named Jose Sanchez del Rio, who was later beatified by the Catholic Church.

Without knowing how the finished product turns out, I can’t offer a formal review. I can say that the film is gripping even in its current form. For Greater Glory definitely takes a pro-Cristero point of view, but Braveheart took a pro-Scots point of view as well, and I’d argue that For Greater Glory sticks closer to the known facts (although obviously much gets left out of a two-hour movie).

Given the recent government efforts to marginalize churches (and church-related workers) and push them out of the public arena, I’d say this is a pretty timely film. The dialogue seems a little cliched to me. Will be interesting to see how it is received and reviewed by some.

And maybe the flick will bring back mustaches, too. I like mustaches!

Related: Exile: The Past is Prologue

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About Elizabeth Scalia