Bill Donohue comments on the movie, “Paradise: Faith,” which opens in New York and Los Angeles today:
A “devout” Catholic woman masturbates with a crucifix, flagellates herself, walks around the house praying on her knees, goes door-to-door with a statue of the Virgin Mary, and fights off her paraplegic Muslim husband who tries to rape her. The New York Times finds it “riveting,” and NPR declares it “recommended.” Last year, it won a special jury prize at the Venice Film Festival.
It is not certain whether the filmmaker, Ulrich Seidl, who is Austrian, is related to another Austrian, Mr. Adolf Hitler, though he could be. Like Hitler, Seidl is a vicious anti-Catholic ex-Catholic. When questioned why it was necessary to show the “devout” Catholic woman profaning a sacred symbol, he said, “it is right to show her masturbating using a cross, as she is making love to Jesus. Just because it might be a taboo doesn’t mean I won’t show it.” But it depends: he won’t show a “devout” Jew masturbating with the Star of David. That would be disrespectful. And NPR and the New York Times would never approve.
Fortunately, almost no one will see this movie. Not only is it in German and Arabic, with subtitles, it is only being shown in Los Angeles and New York; even there it is hard to find. But that doesn’t mean our elites are not taking notice: it merited over 800 words in the Times, and NPR said that notwithstanding its “occasional missteps,” it is a “success.”
If I had known in advance it was opening in the East Village, I would have hired a photographer, and a few researchers, to take pictures and interview the theater-goers. It would be instructive to know who likes this kind of fare. One thing is for sure: they take their ideological cues from NPR and the New York Times. Don’t all independent thinkers?