Romero film remastered nearly 30 years after debut

First slide

How do you get to know a saint who lived before us? Watching a film can be a good introduction.  

Paulist Productions and Catholic Relief Services hosted a premiere of the newly restored and remastered 1989 film, “Romero: The Collector’s Edition,” in Washington Oct. 24. Actor Raul Julia plays Romero. A panel discussion preceded the event.

The life of St. Oscar Romero, canonized earlier this month, is documented in one of the biggest films Paulist has produced, said Father Thomas Gibbons, spokesman for the film.

“The desire to remaster the film and represent the film was two-fold, the canonization made it seem like the obvious choice,” he said. “Next year the film turns 30. What we are looking to do is start a yearlong celebration of the film. We hope more and more people get to see it and reflect on it. This film is how so many people know Romero.”

John Sacret Young, executive producer of the film, said Romero didn’t lose faith, but went into a kind of wilderness. “If you look at his last weeks, there’s no doubt he knew what was coming,” he said. “As a storyteller, that’s really powerful.”

It’s difficult to encapsulate an entire lifetime in the span of less than two hours. Young said many things were left out.

One of the most powerful scenes in the movie, apart from his assassination while celebrating Mass, came just before that. He’s visiting the grave of his friend, Jesuit Father Rutilio Grande. Romero says, "I can’t ... you must ... I’m yours ... Show me the way." He’s reaching out to God in a way that one can imagine Jesus calling out to his father before the crucifixion. Other scenes seem to recall Jesus’ passion, as well.

Getting a small glimpse into what Romero’s life was like through this film is a way to understand the human behind the saint.

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018

@eelliottACH