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For Greater Glory - Review

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  • For Greater Glory - Review

    Well I bought myself a copy of the film For Greater Glory. I wanted to see it in theater but the release was somewhat limited.

    The films premise has been covered earlier but I will reiterate: the movie covers a little known period in Mexican history when the secular government tried to outlaw Christianity. Technically they were taking aim primarily at the Catholic Church but under cultural demographics of the time that was the vast majority of religious Mexico. This resulted in the Christero revolution which would set the stage for reinstating religious freedom.

    The film is told mostly from the perspective of Andy Garcia who plays Enrique Velarde, a former military commander who takes command of the revolutionary army. A secular man, he nevertheless believes in religious freedom.

    As a military movie, FGG does a good job in portraying battle scenes. The movie would be paired well with Liam Neeson's portrayal of Michael Collins as a study in leadership - Michael Collins portrays the titular character taking an organization using regular army tactics and gearing it toward assymetrical warfare while For Greater Glory portrays General Verlarde taking a guerilla force and training and employing them in regular army tactics which I think provides an interesting contrast.

    As a period piece the movie provides plenty of color and is a worthy selection for an early 20th century collection.

    I reccomend this movie to Christians (and not just because this is one of the few Hollywood deals where we're portrayed as good guys). Christians who view this movie - Catholic and Protestant - may appreciate a discussion afterward. The film does bring up a number of points for discussion: violence vs. peacefulness in the face of persecution, personal conduct and resolve under persecution, and addressing the anguish of human suffering while sustaining a belief in God. The movie simultaneously offers comfort and challenge to these questions.

    Secularists, however, will also appreciate this movie. Although spirituality is a highly prevalent theme throughout the film, this is keeping within historical context as these were actual vews of the time. Taken as a period war movie I feel the secular viewer will still find this film equally entertaining. It is not written to convert, merely to explain just what had happened in Mexico during the latter years of the roaring '20s. Andy Garcia mentioned in an interview that you don't have to be a Catholic to appreciate the film and he is correct.

    I give the movie high marks all around. A detailed plot, well choreographed battle scenes, excellent costumes, and material for reflection. Not exactly a feel good movie - included is the true story of a martyred child which is heartrending to watch and takes the film to Schindler's List territory. But an excellent and powerful historical epic.
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