Movie Recommendations - Great Spiritual Stories Told Well

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Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

Director: Franco Zeffirelli

Cast: Robert Powell, Anne Bancroft, Laurence Olivier, Ernest Borgnine, James Earl Jones, Christopher Plummer, Olivia Hussey, Michael York, James Mason, Ian McShane, Peter Ustinov

Mother Hamilton loved this TV series and even discussed it during church service, recommending it highly. She said of this movie that this is the story of Jesus as he is depicted in the Gospels.

   
  Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972)

Director: Franco Zeffirelli

Cast: Graham Faulkner, Judi Bowker, Leigh Lawson, Kenneth Cranham, Lee Montague Valentina Cortese, Alec Guinness

Mother Hamilton also loved this movie and as in the above movie on Jesus, she discussed it during church service and couldn't recommend it highly enough. Once in 1976, Pat Downey, Mother's center leader in Victoria, BC, arranged to show this movie as a surprise private showing for Mother and the Victoria group. Mother was moved to tears in watching it and in her gratitude and love for Pat and the devotees there.

 

Padre Pio: Miracle Man (2000)

Director: Carlo Carlei

Cast: Sergio Castellitto, Pietro Biondi

This movie is very compelling and endearing as it portrays a true saint who suffered greatly and gave up all to know God.

   
  Pope John Paul II (2005)

Director: John Kent Harrison

Cast: Jon Voight, Cary Elwes, Ben Gazzara, Christopher Lee, Vittoria Belvedere, James Cromwell, Daniele Pecci, Ettore Bassi, Chiara Conti, Valeria Cavalli, Marcin Kuzminski, Giulietta Revel

Jon Voight is simply delightful as Pope John Paul II. Much fun and great depth.

   
  St. Teresa of Avila (2008)

Director: Josefina Molina

Cast: Concha Velasco, Héctor Alterio, Francisco Rabal, Patricia Adriani

Master once told Mother that she looked like St. Teresa. This is a lovely depiction of this great saint.

English Subtitles

   
  Jodhaa Akbar (2008)

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker

Cast: Aishwarya Rai, Hrithik Roshan, Ila Arun, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Suhasini Mulay, Sonu Sood, Baby Rucha, Vaidya Rajesh, Vivek Yuri

This is about Akbar the Great and how universal he was in his vision. He learned to love all of India and he was a tremendous example of religious tolerance and desired nothing more than harmony between all religions. The music by A.R. Rahman is sublime.

English Subtitles

 
  Ushpizin (2004)

Director: Giddi Dar

Cast: Shuli Rand, Michal Bat-Sheva Rand, Shaul Mizrahi, Ilan Ganani, Avraham Abutboul, Daniel Dayan

This is a very cleverly written movie. Stick with it and it will delight you. The themes here are profound and yet quirky, and laugh out loud funny with a wonderful ending. It tells the story of a difficult situation for both husband and wife and how, through their high-mindedness and great love for each other, they overcome their trials in a surprising and moving way.

English Subtitles

   
  The Nativity Story (2006)

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Cast: Shohreh Aghdashloo,   Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac, Ted Rusoff, Matt Patresi, Shaun Toub, Hiam Abbass, Alexander Siddig

Nicely done. Beautifully filmed and acted. 

   
The Island (Ostrov) The Island (Russian Title: Ostrov) (2005)

Director: Pavel Lungin

Cast: Pyotr Mamonov, Viktor Sukhorukov, Dmitriy Dyuzhev

God comes in many forms and plays many roles. Father Anatoli is a very eccentric and seemingly distracted priest in a small island monastery in Russia. The humor in this movie slowly builds in the story itself and in the audience as we gain more insight into who and what this unusual man is. It is also a haunting portrayal of a soul tormented by previous deeds and needing to serve people to offer penance to God. It is a story that has echoes of Nikos Kasantzakis' book, The Last Temptation of Christ.

English Subtitles 

Dharm (2007)

Director: Bhavna Talwar

Cast:  Pankaj Kapur, Supriya Pathak, Pankaj Tripathy

Dharm is the Hindi word for Dharma, which is a Sanskrit word meaning duty and righteousness. This virtue is preeminent in Pandit Chaturvedi, a Hindu priest, but never truly tested until God visits him in the form of a beautiful young boy who is adopted by the priest and his lovely wife. The Pandit's love is stretched into a universal form through the trial that he is put through. Beautifully acted and directed.

English Subtitles