Friday, November 30, 2007

The Maldonado Miracle (2003)

It's funny how some movies stick with me in surprising ways - they keep coming up in conversation, there's a part that my brain keeps turning over and over on the back burner or they seem to apply to various conversations and areas of our study.

The Maldonado Miracle has been doing that to me lately - particularly when topics relating to the Church's position on Faith and Reason come up (as happened in our teen catechism discussion last night).

I don't think I can go into all the rabbit trails that this movie brought up, I'll just give you a starting point so you can check it our for yourself.

Peter Fonda plays a parish priest in the process of getting a transfer out of a has-been former mining town in California. The people left in town mourn over each family that moves out. Their world changes dramatically when blood is found on the crucifix in the local church and people come from all over to witness the "miracle" for themselves.

One of the most interesting things (which doesn't seem like a stretch within the movie, but still surprises us in some ways) is that it is the good priest who is most reluctant to proclaim a miracle. He pushes for testing first and even locks the doors of the Church at one point. Some non-believing townspeople, however, see this as a benefit for the community and even go so far as to hide information from the priest.

I won't say more about the plot, except that it's wonderfully ironic and true in unexpected, but delightful ways.

We found this to be appropriate viewing for the entire family, though parents might want to preview it for more sensitive children (there is one violent, though not particularly scary scene and there are a fair number of dramatic chase scenes and such).
The behavior of the woman who first proclaims (and practically takes credit for) the miracle provides some good fodder for discussion - particularly in the context of the ending. Don't give up on the movie on her account!

This made for TV movie was directed by Salma Hayek and originally aired on Showtime.

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