HOLLYWOOD WARS ON CATHOLICISM AGAIN

Catalyst October Issue 2002

      In September, Miramax Films purchased the rights to “The Magdalene Sisters.” In late August, Samuel Goldwyn Films picked up “The Crime of Father Amaro.” Both movies attack Catholicism.
      Harvey Weinstein of Miramax is known for such anti-Catholic movies as “Priest,” “Butcher Boy,” “Dogma,” and “40 Days and 40 Nights.” Now he has added the Venice Golden Lion winner “The Magdalene Sisters.”
      Miramax is owned by Disney, which is why we have asked Disney chief Michael Eisner to dump Miramax once and for all. Disney lost 32 percent of its stock over the last year. By letting Miramax buy “The Magdalene Sisters,” Disney’s moral stock has hit a new low.
      “The Magdalene Sisters” is based on the allegedly cruel behavior of Irish nuns who maintained homes for wayward young girls and their babies in the 19th and 20th centuries. To be sure, conditions were harsh by today’s standards but they were not uncommon in their day: historians have recounted how Protestant-run institutions were similar. Moreover, in the absence of government agencies to address this problem, those girls who were left to fend for themselves were consigned to failure. But such verities are of no interest to director Peter Mullan.
      Listen to Mullan’s vintage anti-Catholicism: “There is not much difference between the Catholic Church and the Taliban”; “The film encapsulates everything that is bad about the Catholic Church”; “The worst thing about the Catholic Church is that it imprisons your soul, your mind and your d—.”
      No wonder a leading European arts critic compared Mullan’s work to that of Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler’s favorite director. Yet none of this fazes Weinstein—the same man who postponed the opening of “Gangs of New York” from a year ago because of his “sensitivity” to New Yorkers. (It features violence and was scheduled to open after 9-11.)
      Meyer Gottlieb and Daniel Birman Ripstein bought “The Crime of Father Amaro” for Samuel Goldwyn Films. It is a fictional account of a priest who impregnates a 16-year-old and features an old woman who feeds the Holy Eucharist to her cat. Gottlieb can say all he wants how the movie “deals with issues that are topical”: it would be just as topical to portray Muslims as thugs, yet no one in Hollywood would dare do so.
      Catholics should take note: this is Hollywood’s 9-11 gift to us.
      To protest “The Magdalene Sisters,” contact Michael Eisner, President, Disney, 500 S. Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521. To protest “The Crime of Father Amaro,” contact Meyer Gottlieb, President, Samuel Goldwyn Films, 9570 W. Pico Blvd., Ste. 400, Los Angeles, CA 90035.

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Written by Bill