FaithWorld

Founder of Catholic Opus Dei group focus of movie

November 4, 2009

opus-deiIf Opus Dei had a rough ride in the blockbuster movie based on Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code,” it looks set for an altogether more sympathetic portrayal in another film that deals with the Catholic organization.

British director Roland Joffe, renowned for Oscar-nominated “The Killing Fields” and “The Mission,” is making “There Be Dragons,” a film set during the Spanish Civil War that focuses in part on the life of Opus Dei founder Jose Maria Escriva.

(Photo: Image of Escriva at his canonisation at the Vatican, 6 Oct 2002/Paolo Cocco)

Principal photography is complete, and Joffe is now in the editing room aiming to have the movie, which stars Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, ready for theatres by autumn next year.

Joffe originally intended to turn down a project which, owing to its religious theme and Opus Dei’s controversial profile, promises to draw closer scrutiny than the average film.

In The Da Vinci Code, Opus Dei was cast as a secretive cult that resorted to murder to defend a fictional, 2,000-year-old Catholic cover-up. It has also been criticized by church liberals suspicious of its power and reach and by estranged members telling of coercion and corporal mortification.

But when he saw a video of Escriva addressing a large crowd, Joffe changed his mind.

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