You can be as secular or secular as you like, hate the religion you were baptized into or just ignore it. It can even be anticlerical, ideological or by rejection. But there is no one, no one, who, at least once in their life, has not found himself wondering if God exists and, if so, what does he want. There is not one who, at least once in his life, has not found himself grappling with a problem that he could not solve by himself and that, he has not done as Ornella Vanoni sang: “Let’s also try with God, no one knows never”.
Most drew only silence in response, that famous “silence of God” that haunted director Ingmar Bergman. From that silence they deduced that praying with the oldest known prayer – “Help me!” – was a waste of time. And shrugged, they resolved that it wasn’t worth it. Others, failing to reconcile a God who claims to be a Good Father with the existence of evil in the world, above all the suffering of children and injusticethey ruled that it is all chatter invented by priests to keep people on their knees.
Nino Manfredi was one of the evil-in-the-world skeptics: it was pointed out to him that precisely what he was complaining about proved the so-called Original Sin according to the Catholic narrative; either it was explained in this way or it was not explained at all; we were created for joy, so pain makes us sick. But it was a very old story: in the Middle Ages the Cathars solved the problem by saying that there were two of God, one good and one bad; the bad one had imprisoned the souls in matter, therefore these had to be freed by suicide. But the reasons are seven billion, as many as we are.
This is why I recommend a film that is currently shooting in theaters, Father Stu, with a highly respected cast: Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson and Malcolm McDowell. It is based on the true story of a drifter from the American proletariat: alcoholic father, broken family, no studies, no art, no part, in short, the true face of the American dream. As many like him he tries boxing, but he has to leave because his health does not allow him. He goes to be a salesman, of course, and falls in love with a Mexican girl. But she is very Catholic and he, for her sake, accepts baptism. Power of the sacrament (or suggestion? Boh; in any case he is certainly not the type), Stuart, Stu for friends, takes it seriously. So serious that he wants to be a priest, breaking her heart. Not only that: he has to fight, because, given his past, the bishop does not want him. But he does so much and he says so much that in the end the curia gives in to his genuine enthusiasm.
And here’s the heinous joke: a rare disease similar to ALS. He has little to live and that little in a wheelchair. The scene in which, desperate, he throws himself at the foot of the Crucifix insulting him would deserve the Oscar to Mark Wahlberg, were it not that in Hollywood, as is well known, they are from a completely different parish. Stu feels, rightly, mocked. But how, I gave you everything and you do this to me? Because? Yes, the question of the questions: why? why me? The latter is the real question, since only when fate falls on the our boss becomes essential to have an answer. For the rest, watch the movie. For once, an important film.
Rino Cammilleri, June 6, 2022
#Father #Stu #masterpiece #film #Gods #silence #suffering #Rino #Cammilleri