THE Catholic Leader did a good thing in recently offering free passes to the movie, “Calvary”. Everyone needs to see it.
George Bernard Shaw’s “Saint Joan” (1924) contains a dialogue between two churchmen. One had just realised what cruelty he had committed in his past actions.
His listener retorts that surely the sufferings of Christ are enough to bring about that realisation and a change of heart.
No, was the reply, that only came after he had witnessed the actual burning of St Joan.
The listener, in exasperation, questions once more: … must then a Christ perish in torment in every age to save those with no imagination?
The writer/director of Calvary has reproduced for us an equivalent experience to Shaw’s characters in case we have not the imagination to appreciate what Jesus means for us.
As for the ending, well, the Bible always leaves that up in the air doesn’t it, and the Irish filmmakers are no different.
The plot will bother you unless you also understand the depths of meaning in the Song of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah Chapter 53.
There is tragedy.
It is tragic that the myth of Jesus’ Calvary as an act of suicide is canvassed – tragic because it shows just how misunderstood the Christian scriptures are.
It’s tragic too that “love” as a concept in English language is so uncertain of itself.
It has to be supported by the word “unconditional” to be faithful to the storyline of this movie.
St Luke in Chapter 23: 47-49 uses three different Greek verbs of “seeing” to describe what moves the spectators at the original Calvary.
You will need all three verbs if the movie is to impact you.
Unlike the Gospels however, it takes all the characters, and not just the priest, to yield the actual Christ experience.