Last Thursday, January 13, the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome hosted a meeting to reflect on: “How to bring the life of a Founder to the cinema”. The film ‘’CLARET’’ was screened followed by a round table discussion with Pablo Moreno (Director), Sergio Cardoso (actor), and Fr. Manolo Tamargo cmf (who is responsible for the project of the production of the film “CLARET,”on behalf of the Claretian Missionaries).
“It is important for us to make known the figure of St. Anthony Mary Claret, who is a treasure not only of our Congregation but of the Church” explained Fr. Manolo Tamargo CMF.
The life of Claret as a whole is a non-stop from one place to another… “It is like a road movie,” said the director Pablo Moreno, “because his life passes through Catalonia, the Canary Islands, Cuba, the Court of Isabel II in Madrid, Rome, France…”. When it comes to making a film about a saint, Pablo emphasizes: “People run away from hagiographies, they don’t make anyone fall in love or inspire anyone. It’s not a question of collecting the extraordinary things a saint did, but to try to really transmit his being, so that the viewer encounters him”.
“I have spent many hours talking to the actors” -says the director. “We always look for the best actors we can get. We have cases of great people who are atheists or distant from the Church, but the knowledge engages, and when they meet the saints up close, they change their idea about faith or the Church. During the shootings, there is always a priest there, available for whoever wants can talk to him. Sometimes the actors look for him more than for me, the director.”
The director comments: “There is a phrase of Pope Francis that I like very much: “There is no saint without a past and no sinner without a future”. Talking about the charism of a congregation is very nice. It’s complicated because it’s like unraveling the DNA. We are all part of the same body, and each one from his charism is a diverse element.”
Sergio Cardoso, the actor who embodies one of the murderers, was moved by the question “What does it feel like when you try to kill the saint in the film?” “It doesn’t leave you indifferent,” he admitted when he recovered from the question. “My character evolves. First, he says, ‘Who needs to be taken care of?’ At first, he doesn’t care, then he changes. There is a shot in which I appear walking and listening to what the saint says from the pulpit. As part of that evolution, before throwing the knife at him I say “forgive me father”… Indeed, something happens in your heart and in your head, you evolve with the character… You lower all the barriers and you let yourself be soaked a little by the character, which is historical: St. Anthony Mary Claret got him out of prison at the request of his parents, and he repaid them by trying to kill him, to which Claret responded by forgiving him again and thus saving him from death penalty. It’s incredible.”
It has been a gift to be able to share our experience as a Congregation in this process of bringing our Founder, St. Anthony Mary Claret, in the cinemas. It is a gift for the Congregation to be able to have a film that captures the authentic charism of the Founder written in the language of today’s cinema.
We, the Claretian Missionaries are happy to let you know that we are making efforts to bring, in the coming months, the movie ‘’CLARET’’ to the big screens in America and other places where it has not been launched yet.
For more information: claretlapelicula.com