Sign In  |  Shopping Cart Shopping Cart  |  RSS Subscribe to RSS Feed  
Spirituality & Practice
Search This Site
Loading
Find Us On
Follow Me on Pinterest
DonateNow
Sign Up
Conscious Aging Alliance
Conscious Aging Alliance Events
Search Reviews
Title:

Director
First Name:

Director
Last Name:

Keywords:

Medium:
Practice:

Tradition:
About the Database

Search our database of more than 4,500 film reviews. We have been discovering spiritual meanings in movies for nearly four decades.

Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Stigmata
Directed by Rupert Wainwright
MGM 09/99 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R -- intense violent sequences, language, some sexuality

Father Andrew Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne), a priest-scientist who works for the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints, is dispatched by Cardinal Houseman (Jonathan Pryce) to investigate a church in Brazil where a statue of the Virgin Mary has blood streaming from her eyes. This inexplicable event is somehow connected to the death of a priest who is translating a controversial gospel written in the first century, which could shake the authoritarian foundations of the Catholic Church.

When a thief steals the rosary from the dead priest's casket, an American tourist purchases this devotional artifact and sends it as a souvenir to her daughter Frankie Paige (Patricia Arquette), a hairdresser who lives alone in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Soon after touching the rosary beads, this twenty-something woman finds herself in the hospital with deep puncture wounds in each wrist. Her story is picked up by the media when her back is lashed by an unseen force while she is on a subway train. Father Kiernan, who is sent to investigate, tells Frankie that she is receiving stigmata, the five wounds suffered by Jesus when he was crucified. Unlike Saint Francis of Assisi and Padre Pio who were devout Christians experiencing this phenomenon, Frankie is a nonbeliever.

This supernatural thriller directed by Rupert Wainwright is very difficult to watch with its hallucinatory visual style and its surreal depiction of urban life. Those looking for a thrill-me successor to The Exorcist will be disappointed. The crux of the drama focuses on a Vatican conspiracy to suppress an Aramaic text, similar in content to the Gospel of Saint Thomas, where Jesus talks about the direct experience of the Kingdom of God without any need for the authority or structures of the institutional church.

 

Films Now Showing
Recent VHS/DVD Releases

Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
  Email This Review
Share |
Film Awards
The Most Spiritually Literate Films of:
 
Purchase from: