Sunday, February 02, 2014

New film addresses religious persecution in Spain the 1930's




In the summer of 1936, the modern history of Spain changed when a brutal civil war broke out. The violence and persecution, already in place against religious groups, priests and bishops, intensified.

A new film, titled "Under a Blanket of Stars,” addresses this bloody chapter. It narrates the martyrdom of hundreds of Dominican friars from the tiny township of Almagro, in Central Spain.

OSCAR PARRA DE CARRIZOSA
Director, "Bajo un manto de estrellas”
"It's the latest in a string of films, like 'From Gods and men,' or more recently in Spain, 'A forbidden God.' We focused on the message of the witnesses, the witnesses of the faith that died as martyrs: the Dominican friars of Almagro.”

These Dominicans were driven out of their convent and jailed in Madrid. They were imprisoned under harsh conditions and mistreated, even humiliated. Afterward, they were killed.

-You all must remain together, in a safe place, until the trial takes place.
-What are we accused of?
-Of hiding weapons and of conspiring against the town of Almagro.

The full-length feature avoids politics at large, or even defining the good or bad characters. Its director wanted to show the testimony of a group that, while they were not looking to die, they faced death with forgiveness for their killers.

"We are travelers with a clear destination. Exactly when we will get there is uncertain. Our lives are in the hands of God.”

OSCAR PARRA DE CARRIZOSA
Director, "Bajo un manto de estrellas”
"The film avoids, in a way, the clash between people; of course, it also avoids the political clashes, because it's not a film with a political climax. It's a film focused 100 percent on the message of love, and forgiveness.”

The film debuts on February 14. Among other things, it aims to inspire viewers with the story of these men and their total devotion to their faith.

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