A new Polish film about a Catholic priest who is struggling with his homosexuality took the prize for the best gay-themed movie at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival.
Entitled “In the Name Of,” the film was directed by 39-year old Malgoska Szumowska who told Reuters:
“They (the Catholic Church) don’t want to change anything. The church does not fit in with modern society. . . .
“Out of this conflict only bad things happen. I think they are extremely closed and intolerant… But I am not a politician or an intellectual. . . .
“We did not want to make a movie about an oppressive church… We wanted to make a movie about love.”
The film is expected to spark conversations, if not controversy, in heavily Catholic Poland. But the filmmaker notes that the nation is changing, and it seems a good time for such conversations:
“We have very strong discussions now in Poland, about the church, about homosexuality. We now have priests leaving the church.”
The Hollywood Reporter carries a synopsis and favorable review of the film. They note:
“Gay priests hardly raise an eyebrow anymore in Western films, but it is rare that their sexual angst is portrayed as sensitively as in Poland’s Berlin competition entry In the Name Of…., which hovers in an interesting middle ground between Gothic expressionism and psychological drama, heightened by a fine cast and outstanding performances. . . .The new film’s tolerance, propped up by a careful distinction between homosexuality and pedophilia, is unlikely to arouse much controversy among the kind of art house audiences the Memento title will attract, though it could provoke protest from traditional Catholic groups.”
Should the film be distributed in the U.S., Bondings 2.0 will update you with further reviews and discussions.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry