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Monsenor: The Last Journey of Oscar Romero
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In El Salvador in the late Seventies, one man was the voice of the campesinos, the poor, the disenfranchised, and the Disappeared -- all struggling under the corrupt Salvadoran government. Appointed Archbishop in early 1977, Monsenor Oscar Romero worked tirelessly and in constant personal peril until the day he was assassinated in March 1980.
Inspired by his friend Monsenor Rutilio Grande, himself murdered for speaking out against the social injustice around him, Romero broke off ties with the military and aligned himself with the poor, delivering messages of hope in weekly sermons which became national events. Encouraging direct action against oppression from his unique position in the Catholic Church, Romero preached a gospel of Heaven on Earth and a powerful version of Liberation Theology that directly impacted political events in El Salvador that still have meaning to this day.
With rare recordings and film footage from Romero's own collection and a wide range of interviews from those whose lives were changed by Archbishop Romero, including church activists, human rights lawyers, former guerrilla fighters and politicians, Monsenor: The Last Journey of Oscar Romero is a timely portrait of one individual's quest to speak truth to the rich and powerful forces which dominated his government.
Top Customer Reviews
"Monsenor: The Last Journey of Oscar Romero" doesn't spend much time putting together a big historical picture of the country's volatile political climate. Romero's back story and past achievements, as well, are given but slight mention. Instead the documentary really begins (more or less) with the appointment of Romero as Archbishop in 1977 and follows the changing landscape until his death a few years later. It is, in no way, a biography. It is, instead, a recounting and a remembrance of the carnage and uncertainty of the era. While Romero and other murdered priests aligned themselves with the general populace against oppressors, it is really the stories of the average citizens that shine through in this piece.Read more ›
The film is, unintentionally perhaps, or at least effortlessly, a hagiography, a record of a saintly life. It is an astonishing compilation of footage from the last three years of Romero's life, not only of the archbishop himself but of army patrols and mothers of the disappeared and guerrillas on the move--and above all of those unforgettable Masses in which the small, unprepossessing archbishop read out loud the record of the government's atrocities while hundreds of ragged, persecuted campesinos listened in gratitude, their existence and suffering recognized at last."
-Alma Guillermoprieto (The New York Review of Books).
Excellent footage showing Oscar Romero prior to his death - interviews with people who knew him and worked with him.
The film is very moving - I was brought to tears a couple of times as people spoke of how he fought for them and helped them.
Not a happy film, but truly an INSPIRATIONAL one. Well-suited for audiences who read English well - probably 16 years and older.
This is to my experienced eyes a typical South American TV documentary, whether released in theaters or no. It is a bit sloppy and confusing, with precious little narration in English--as if it were an afterthought. If you are not fluent in Spanish, you can just about forget catching it all in one viewing. The tiresome documentary, while never skimping on horribly graphic shots of corpses, skimps mightily on basic fact.
If you see this, you will first of all notice how it never explains exactly what happened in El Salvador to begin with--or what caused it to deteriorate later. You will hear next to nothing about the Church's fight with liberation theology, nor will you learn about the Vatican's uncompromising refusal to help Salvadorans at the time. Finally, you may notice that there are often no subtitles when people are speaking.
Worse, I found it most irritating that there was footage of Abp. Romero speaking and the producers saw fit to stick someone else's interview remarks on top--so an insignificant Salvadoran who may have been a guerrilla is more important to hear than the clean footage of Romero?! Even so, this is a can't-miss opportunity for viewers to at least get a basic education about that period and about Romero. This is no biography, though it is biographical in nature and focuses properly on Romero. The best thing here is Romero's actual taped diary, which has been remastered and is played often.
At least Abp.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Este es un documental fidedigno y academico que presenta la vida de Monsenor Romero desde un punto de vista neutral y realista. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Nena
Excellent documentary on the witness of a modern-day prophet, that led to his death. There is a good deal of historical footage included, which I very much appreciated.Published 7 months ago by Rev. David Crump
Excellent documentary with footage from the civil war and interviews with people who lived through it and knew Archbishop Romero.
Disturbing at times. Read more
"Monsenor: The Last Journey of Oscar Romero" is an extraordinary documentary! I thought the Hollywood film "Romero" was reasonably well done, but it can't hold a... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mark
A great video. There were some scenes that were new for me. I have watched it multiple times and have shared it too!Published 13 months ago by Steve Vellenga
I was one of the advisors to the Salvadoran armed force during the time period in the movie and thereafter. Read morePublished 13 months ago by John Guzman
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