The director of “There Be Dragons,” a film about Opus Dei founder St. Josemaría Escrivá, sees the saint's message that God can be found in everyday life as central to his latest movie.
“It’s not that a saint gets some inner truth and now there are no struggles,” Joffe told CNA. It’s not, “I’m just a saint and everything works. No, a saint has to struggle every day.”
“Saints are fundamentally and totally human. It’s their very humanity that makes them able to be saints.”
Joffe said the film expresses the Spanish saint’s deeply held belief that God can be found in everyday life – even during a civil war – and that everyone can be a saint.
“There Be Dragons,” is set during the Spanish Civil War of the mid- to late 1930s, a period the director describes as “the seminal moment in Josemaria’s life.”
One of the central themes Joffe explores in the film is forgiveness, which he calls a “gift” and “central message” of Christianity.
Forgiveness “acts to free both parties,” Joffe said, explaining that “it acts to free the person doing the forgiveness and it obviously acts to free the person being forgiven.”
“If we have to forgive somebody, we have to forgive something that has caused an immense amount of pain and there will be a great cost and a great struggle in being able to forgive, but that’s the Christian message: that that struggle itself is worthwhile,” said Joffe, who has described himself as a “wobbly agnostic.”
“There Be Dragons” is not just for Catholics, though. “This movie is 100% about humanity. We have tested it with believers, nonbelievers, Asians, Americans, Africans, everyone,” Producer Ignacio Gómez Sancha told Rome Reports, “and it touched the heart of all of them, so nobody should feel left out!”
The film made its debut in Spain on March 25. It will be released in the U.S. on May 6 and will premier in Columbia and Mexico on August 5.