Stella Days

Change is in the air in 1950s Catholic Ireland, and a discontented parish priest (Martin Sheen) struggles to keep his flock - and himself - from spiritual exhaustion in director Thaddeus O'Sullivan's adaptation of Michael Doorley's memoir. Ordered by his bishop (Tom Hickey) to build a new church, the pastor lights on a novel scheme to raise funds and, at the same time, engage his wandering flock: build a cinema, to be called "The Stella." His project gains the support of a newly arrived young teacher (Trystan Gravelle), but ignites opposition both from the bishop and from a local politician (Stephen Rea) who predicts filth and immorality will result. Antoine O. Flatharta's script does not condemn the church and its role in Irish society outright. But he marginalizes it, casting it as a relic of a rose-colored time in recent history.

Watch out for: An unflattering portrayal of the Catholic Church, an adulterous relationship and some rough language.

Rated: The Catholic News Service classification is L - limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 1970