Venice, Italy, Sep 12, 2009 / 16:13 pm
A new documentary on the life of Fr. Matteo Ricci, a pioneering Jesuit missionary to China, was screened at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday.
The film is part of a revival of interest in Ricci, whom Pope Benedict XVI has called a model for a “fruitful meeting” between civilizations.
The movie, directed by Italian filmmaker Gjon Kolndrekaj, was shot in China and Italy.
Political and religious dignitaries from both countries attended the screening, ANSA reports. They included the Patriarch of Venice Cardinal Angelo Scola, China’s Ambassador to Italy Sun Yuxi and the Chinese Embassy’s cultural counselor Zhang Jianda.
Matteo Ricci was born in 1552 in the Marche town of Macerata. He became a Jesuit priest and a scholar of mathematics and astronomy before leaving for the Far East at the age of 26.