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St. Teresa of Avila (2008)

Concha Velasco , Hector Alterio , Josefina Molina  |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Concha Velasco, Hector Alterio, Francisco Rabal, Patricia Adriani
  • Directors: Josefina Molina
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Studio: Ignatius Press
  • DVD Release Date: February 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 450 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00126STC2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,750 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A powerful epic mini-series shot on location in Spain that tells the story of one of the most amazing women in history, St. Teresa of Avila. With meticulous attention to detail and historical accuracy, outstanding production values, and an incredible performance by actress Concha Velasco as Teresa, this acclaimed major film production is the definitive film on the life of this great saint.

Teresa of Avila was called by God to reform and renew the Carmelite order, a daunting task. She was joined in this work by her great fellow Carmelite and spiritual director, St. John of the Cross. This film reveals the conversion that Teresa herself had to go thru to deepen her own union with Christ as she endeavored to bring about that same deeper spiritual reform of her Carmelite order. It shows the tremendous opposition that she and John both faced within (and without) their order to bring about this much needed spiritual renewal. She and John of the Cross were both great mystics who combined the essential dimensions of a profound spiritual life with the very practical aspects of being completely dedicated to the human tasks necessary for such a reform.

This DVD has the following language tracks: Spanish with English subtitles.

Includes a 16 page Collector's booklet. Also has many Special Features, including: Documentary on the Making of the Film, Behind the Scenes Footage, Interviews with Actress and Director, Biography of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross and much more!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise portrayal of a great mystic and woman. February 1, 2008
Finally this great mini series is coming out on DVD. I first saw it on EWTN and then found a copy on VHS and watch it all the time. Even though this series came out in 1983, it is timeless in its telling of the incrediable life of this great saint. It is vivid in the portrayal of Teresa and the world she lived in. Concha Velasco is brilliant as Teresa, revealing to us a saint that was both very human and at the same time a great mystic. She shows us a woman who was struggling with inner demons as her spiritual vocation was evolving towards the union she shared with her God as well as the difficulties of the era she lived in and the re-organization of the Carmelite order she was a part of and that had turned away from its original austere charisma. She found herself with enemies on both sides of the spectrum, from the laity as well as her own religious communities. Only a few churchmen and nuns along with St. John of the Cross understood her mission. Another enemy fighting against her was her own body as she was always sickly throughout her life, getting worse as she grew older. For anyone interested in the life and spirituality of Teresa of Avila, this series is for you.
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior TV biopic February 4, 2008
This is without doubt the best miniseries I've ever seen and I would daresay the best ever made. Concha Velasco brilliantly portrays the great 16th century Carmelite mystic and saint. Her portrayal brings out the warmth, humor, humility, hard-headed common sense and incredible spiritual depth of this amazing woman who is also one of my favorite saints. All the actors are superb, as is the writing, the production values, sets, costumes, direction - everything. For those who think a story about a nun several hundred years ago would be boring, think again. This story has passion, intrigue, suspense - even an evil queen - the Princess of Eboli. But above all it is an amazing story of what God can do with someone who gives herself completely over to His guiding hand. I cannot recommend this film highly enough!
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61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Standard in Catholic Cinema April 11, 2008
This film is a work of extraordinary realism and balance. Focusing on the life and works of St. Teresa of Avila, and giving a full rounded portrayal of her, the film's agenda also broadens toward a universal statement about the Catholic life. It becomes an illuminating unmasking of spiritual pitfalls, temptations and pretensions against the background of an age of history, with its own highs and lows that the journey of a saint's life must weather. The Catholic position of course -- shocking to some of our Christian friends of other denominations -- is that simply "witnessing" or proclaiming faith is no guarantee -- Hell's maw is open to swallow you up until your last breath, and the greatest risks are interior, not exterior.

Actress Concha Velasco is fully convincing at every stage of Teresa's life, and delivers a performance not matched in any other film based on Catholic themes I have ever seen. The film itself, although little known in this country until recently, is a serious contender for the best Catholic film ever made to date. In profound dimensionality it portrays not only the the humble consolations of the saint's life, but all the obstacles she must weather including grappling with her own personality, however insightful and gifted she may be.

The other key to the film's success is the well directed script's unflinching realism and honesty. Those with only superficial exposure to the great Spanish mystics, Teresa and John of the Cross, may be surprised and shocked by the film's early tackling of the saint's youthful faults and follies head on.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Timeless Film April 28, 2008
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I am only about one-third through watching this film, but I am already blown away with its ability to show the depth of Teresa's love for her Lord. This film has touched me as no other, except maybe "Brother Sun, Sister Moon."
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Best June 22, 2008
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Superlative production. Outstanding acting, writing, and directing. The production design is flawless - watching it is to go back in time to the 16th century and witness the life of St. Teresa unfold (no Hollywood-like sets here). A mature, thoughtful, well-researched, and respectful treatment of this great saint.
Don't be concerned about the English subtitles; they do not detract at all from the enjoyment of this captivating movie. (I ordered this DVD set from Spain when Region 1 (U.S./Canada) was not available yet, and played it on my computer; so delighted it is finally in a format we can see on our TV's in the U.S.).
For those with a devotion to St. Teresa, or for anyone who enjoys the lives of saints, it does not get any better than this.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not the real Saint Teresa....but still a good movie October 4, 2010
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The movie is well made, and there are many redeeming aspects to it. It was undoubtedly a very good effort, and you can tell that the director was familiar with her autobiography and book of her Foundations. However, as with many movies on saints, it seems there is still much lacking, especially in subtleties. Evidently this happens in many saints movies. The directors try too much to make them seem human, portraying them as just very good people, but fail to show the life of heroic virtue, prayer, and profound interior life.

For example, Saint Theresa stated in the book of her Foundations that she purposely restrained herself, especially in her love for her nuns, so that they would not develop an attachment to her, nor she to them. Yet the movie showed the opposite of this. Also, the movie portrays her as yearning to travel once she founded the first foundation, but in the book of her Foundations, she says explicitly that she would rather spend her life in solitude within the enclosure than traveling---she only did so out of obedience, not out of her own will.

Furthermore, when she was confined to the convent and barred from founding further convents, the movie portrays her as afflicted and regretful. Yet she wrote in her Foundation that she was actually relieved to have been given the opportunity to live in peace for a while and not have to worry about the trials involved with founding new convents.

It also seems to me that the real Saint Teresa would have been more discrete than the one portrayed here. For example, would she have been drawn into bickering about a broken wagon wheel as the movie portrayed? Would she or Fr. Gracian have expressed such outward anxiety over petty threats from others as the movie portrayed?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars the never ending tale
This was one looooong movie. The audio is Spanish but it has clear American subtitles. The outdoor scenes, and there are many, of St Teresa travelling from place to place in Spain... Read more
Published 1 month ago by triple g man
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Saint
This is first class. It gets you into the mood. Has some beautiful scenes.
The filming is flawless, you feel that you are in the Spain of the 1600's.
Published 6 months ago by M. T. Bastidas
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite the Carmelite
Her books are fantastic on her life. Unless you read about this Doctor of the Roman Catholic DVD can cover the essence of her spirituality............ Read more
Published 6 months ago by Rita L. Rast
1.0 out of 5 stars The movie is good but Amazon send me repeated DVDs so I could not see...
The movie is good but the delivery failed. The movie has several episodes divided in 3 DVDs. Amazon send me DVD number 2 twice and DVD number 3 was missing.
Published 7 months ago by Alejandro
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction or socio-religious commentary
I have read much of the works of Teresa and many of the commentaries. The Spanish language was difficult and limiting. Read more
Published 10 months ago by darling duchess
5.0 out of 5 stars St. Teresa of Avila
This is a very good film and very Catholic!
One must have a good command of the Spanish language to understand it
however. I do like it very much.
Published 10 months ago by Kimberly Vidrio
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good depiction of St. Theresa's mission and philosophy
I enjoyed most of this Spanish television mini-series because there is depth in regards to St.Theresa's philosophy, accomplishments and contributions to the faith and the Church. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jaime Contreras
5.0 out of 5 stars Exc! movie
Exc! movie, it tells you about the sacrifice the saints do and kind of make think in the other hand the sacrifice that we don't do, I recommend it.
Published 13 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
The subtitles do not take away from the passion of the story, nor the passion of the actors. You hear their methods for portraying these iconic figures without dubbing. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Richard Carlton
4.0 out of 5 stars Teresa- powerful movie
I watched all eight epiisodes ( each 1 hour) two times. To appreciate the movie and what is portrays requires some independent reading and research. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Frank Mangold
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