Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Life imitates art

You like I likely have certain movies that cause you to stop flipping about the channels if nothing else seems to grab your attention, and watch. We all have them and I stumbled back across one the other night before I went to sleep that I haven't seen in a long time.

Set in 1968 and starring Anthony Quinn, 'The Shoes of the Fisherman' is an excellent story set against the backdrop of the cold war. It is unique in that it weaves a tale of both religious and world politics. Having grown up during this time, stories of this type both intrigue me and bring back memories. Perhaps that is one reason the first few books by Tom Clancy; 'Hunt for Red October', 'Red Storm Rising' and 'Cardinal of the Kremlin' are some of my favorites. His later works changed as world politics changed and those as well forced readers to look at other parts of the world. And along those lines the world followed with stories of Middle-eastern bombings and terrorist images.

'The Shoes of the Fisherman' tells the tale of a Catholic priest released from a Soviet gulag, and to make a long story short, elected pope. It was the first time in over four hundred years a non-Italian pope was to be elected. The story was based on the life of a priest held in prison by the Soviets and suddenly released in 1963. It was then ten years later from the date of the movie that Karol Wojtyla, a Polish cardinal who had served in communist Poland was elected pope (John Paul II) and became the first non-Italian pope in over four hundred years.

About the only time I remember this film routinely popping up is when the current pope passes away and networks show this in an attempt to give a glimpse to others about the inner workings of the Catholic church. It doesn't do that very well but I understand their thinking; hook an audience with something that is timely. I think 'Angels and Demons' by Dan Brown gives a better look into that than does this movie.

If you like religious and political intrigue it's a good watch.

1 comment:

  1. It's a really good story by one of my favorite authors - Morris West. I think I have most of his books. I did like the movie!