There Be Dragons: A film that shows that forgiveness can change the future
Apr 21, 2011
There Be Dragons is a powerful story of war, tragedy, love, forgiveness, and redemption. Set during the often overlooked horrors of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, it tells the story of two boyhood friends who enter the seminary, but when the war interrupts their lives, one leaves the seminary and chooses the life of a soldier though driven by jealousy and revenge. The other remains in the seminary and becomes a priest just when the provisional government of Spain is on the brink of murdering over 6,000 priests and religious. Each will struggle to find the power of forgiveness over the forces that tear their lives --and their friendship --apart.
....Why the fascination with There Be Dragons? Because a self-proclaimed ‘wobbly’ agnostic and two-time Oscar nominee, Roland Joffe, (The Killing Fields and The Mission) writes and directs a movie that focuses our attention on faith of all things and the “turning points in our lives where we’re faced with…choices that are going to affect our future…and how hard it is to escape cycles of hatred, resentment, and violence.”
Hence, the title, There Be Dragons, is symbolic of the future challenges each of us face in life. Ancient maps of the known world showed that the world was flat, and if you sailed far enough in any direction you fell off the edge of the world…into unchartered territory. On this part of the map was written “Hic Sunt Dracones” (in Latin “Here There Be Dragons” ca. 1503 - 1507) . Joffe uses this expression to symbolize places where we don’t want to go – fears, uncertainties, temptations, decisions we must make…and how we have to face our ‘dragons.’ The movie is rich in symbolism , exploring our passions and what motivates the human heart: good vs. evil, free will, a love triangle, forgiveness, revenge, redemption are all profoundly portrayed.
Joffe deftly explains that There Be Dragons is about “bringing love to the world --- the absence of love and what that does. When loves goes it leaves a vacuum – and that vacuum can fill with very many unpleasant things: fear, hatred, despair….This movie is made for all human beings with the sure knowledge that all human beings count – all human beings have value -- and all human beings, as St. Josemaria would say, are capable of being saints…”