Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ignacio de Loyola [2016]

MPAA (UR would be PG-13)  Fr. Dennis (4 Stars)

IMDb listing

The Jesuit Post (D. Gustafson, S.J.) review
Jesuits West article / review

Ignacio de Loyola [2016] (directed and screenplay by Paolo Dy, collaborating director Catha Azanza, story by Paolo Dy, Catha Azanza, Pauline Mangilog-Saltarin, Emmanuel Alfonso and Ian Victoriano based on the Autobiography [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] of St. Ignatius of Loyola [wikip] [GR] [WCat] [Amzn]) is a really quite excellent English language film made by the Jesuits of the Philippines about the early (young adult) years (and quite interesting conversion...) of St. Ignatius of Loyola [wikip] (the founder of the Jesuit Order).  The film has enjoyed a two week run to fairly, even _impressively_ large audiences here in Orange County, CA (at the AMC Orange 30 Theater).

The film presents young Ignacio (Iñigo) of Loyola [wikip] (played in the film quite excellently by Andreas Muñoz) as a brash to arrogant / entitled feeling young man from the environs of 16th century Pamplona, Spain, who steeped in the chivalric romances of the then still relatively "recent past" would have actually had a lot in common with his contemporary Miguel de Cervantes [wikip] and more to the point, with Cervantes' character/creation Don Quixote [wikip] [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] [IMDb]:

It is clear that young Iñigo (of Loyola) was a dreamer, and one who from the very beginning _dreamed_ / believed himself to be destined for "great things."  What those "great things" would be, were yet to be determined.  However, at least initially he was pretty much certain that they would probably play out, somehow "on the battle field."

HERE, HONESTLY, AND I WRITE HERE WITH SOME "EXPERIENCE," young even 20 year-old Iñigo would _not_ be all that different from the teenager / young adult OF TODAY who having spent the last 5-10 years playing the "Call of Duty" video game and having then seen American Sniper [2014], would have decided to run to an Armed Forces Recruitment Office convinced that Glory / Destiny awaited him (or her) "on the battlefield" / "behind enemy lines" / piloting "drones" (or other robots) on behalf of God and Country.

I honestly found brash / young Iñigo (of Loyola) TOTALLY RELATEABLE and EVEN KNOW and _could point out_ SIMILARLY LOVELY, HONEST, SINCERE / PATRIOTIC young people from _my own parishes_ who'd almost be JUST LIKE HIM

Iñigo's dreams of battlefield glory came to a rather inglorious end with a wound with a cannonball that injured / messed-up his leg, leaving him with a limp for the rest of his life.  What to do now?

Well folks, that's the rest of the story, AND IT'S A GOOD ONE:  As a GOOD / WELL BROUGHT-UP (even arguably somewhat pampered) SPANIARD of the 16th century he turned to God.  But HOW?  Well, having read (and dreamed) of being part of all those Medieval / Chivalric / Arthurian Romances he already had a very active imagination.  So he quite literally started to live his life working out in his mind  -- IMAGINING -- the answer to a question, very well known TODAY: "What would Jesus do?" (and its corollary: "What is Jesus asking _me_ to do?").  Indeed, he came, on his own, to develop a method (his since famous Spiritual Exercises [wikip] [GR]) for the "discernment of spirits." 

Yes, getting his method approved and _not_ getting "burned at the stake" for it -- this was 16th century Spain of the Spanish Inquisition after all ... and at least initially, Ignatius was just a "War Vet turned itinerant preacher" (who hence today could have been initially dismissed as having "PTS issues" ...) -- proved a challenge.  But it also explains _why_ Ignatius of Loyola went _back_ "to School" and arguably _why_ they Jesuits have put so much emphasis on learning ever since: If you know your facts and (come to) be "the smartest / best ecdcated person in the room" _eventually_ your opponents have to let you be / concede. 

Anyway, the film becomes one that could prove very interesting _many_ young people dreaming of Glory / "making a difference" in this world and may help them to seek to do it in a manner that would be honestly pleasing God. 

Great film!  IMHO the best (Catholic / Christian) religiously themed film of the year thus far!

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