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Showing 1-10 of 94 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 104 reviews
on March 21, 2011
It was with great eagerness that I awaited the release of this movie. The movie in itself was very good. However, I felt that the story of Saint Bakhita was dramatic in itself and did not need further dramatization, which, this movie does. As mentioned by the previous reviewer, there is a departure from the facts that surrounded Saint Bakhita's life (otherwise knows as artistic license!)The factual accounts are dexterously intertwined with the fiction that differentiating the two, is rather problematic. This could be a blessing in disguise, for there arises a need to gain more knowledge on this remarkable lady which should lead the viewer to study her life in depth.

The actress who plays the role of Bakhita does a remarkable job in portraying her. St. Bakhita was known for her charity and kindness to one and all and this is wonderfully portrayed by Fatou Kine Boye. She emits a serenity and peace, so much so, it seems that Bakhita is right in front of you! The African scenes are realistic and beautiful. But the most important aspect of this movie is the unveiling of the ills that have afflicted human kind from the beginning: racism, loneliness, selfishness, hypocrisy, pride, cruelty. And for these ills Bakhita's spirituality and character is the balm, for she repays these with love, meekness, selflessness, humility, charity,understanding i.e. the practice of heroic virtue. This film also carries a pro-life message. Look for it! It is both direct and subtle.
There is are very disturbing aspects of racism in this movie, which does make one wince. However, the booklet from Ignatius press which is enclosed states "..Some scenes in the film exaggerate the mistreatment of Bakhita by the Italians.This, perhaps, is a visual meditation on the evils of racism, using Bakhita's life as a vehicle rather than a destination".

The afore mentioned booklet contains the following:
1)Film overview
2)Prayer to obtain graces from St.Bakhita
3)Biography of St. Josephine Bakhita
4)Chronology of the life of the saint
5)Sayings of St. Bakhita
6)The Canossian sisters
7)Two popes on St. Bakhita and
8)scene selection.
There are also several beautiful pictures of scenes from the film.

This movie is in Italian with English and Spanish subtitles and runs for 190 minutes.

In addition I also recommend watching the docu-drama 'Two suitcases' for further study.

To summarize, I use the words of the Holy Father Benedict XVI ....'A VERY BEAUTIFUL FILM.....'
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on March 25, 2017
The movie mixes fact with fiction, but the fiction stays quite believable in presenting bad, very bad, good, and exceptionally good people in Africa and Italy. Short biographies of Saint Josephine Margaret Bakhita's life may be read on the internet. Bakhita (1869 - 1947) was born in the Sudan, kidnapped into slavery as a child, and rescued by an Italian businessman. In Italy she finally became free and joined the Canossian Sisters -- nuns specializing in teaching small children. She was elevated to sainthood by Pope John Paul II, and her life's story has been summarized in a publication by Pope Benedict XVI. The sound-track is Italian, with ample subtitles in English and other languages. The movie runs a full 6 1/2 hours, and offers a marked place to stop if one wants -- and probably should want -- to take it in two sittings.
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on June 16, 2013
This is simply a heart-warming, beautiful movie that is not only great for any Catholic, but simply great for anyone to see of any faith. The theme of the movie is basically that one can love even those who persecute you, mistreat you, and misunderstand you, and that this true love can lead to miracles in both the person who is being persecuted and in those who persecute them. And that love doesn't end no matter what those persecuting Bakhita do to her. She loves everyone, even her slave owners to the end and shows absolutely no hatred towards anyone. No victim mentality in this movie; Bakhita doesn't cry over herself, over the horrible encounters she has experienced through life, she simply transforms those experiences into even greater compassion. The performance of Fatou Kine Boye as St. Bakhita is simply Oscar winning (if Oscars still were given to the right movies and actors, which they are not), and Fabio Sartor (known to most people as the Centurion in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ") is stunning as a slave owning, selfish character that Hollywood would make into someone completely evil, but this movie portrays as simply a confused soul who lacks love and therefore cannot love himself.

In regards to remarks by K. Ostrowski on this movie from the most popular review on this film: I understand that a movie like this may have more fiction than fact in how it portrays the life of Saint Bakhita, and I myself prefer accuracy, but if that is the case, we should throw out a lot of great Catholic-themed movies. For example, "For Greater Glory"(a simply stunning movie) does not portray accurately the lives of Saint Jose Sanchez del Rio or General Gorostieta and combines two priest-generals into one character. "The Agony and the Ecstasy," another amazing movie, does not portray Michelangelo and Pope Julius II exactly like they were, nor does "The Reluctant Saint" portray the life of Saint Joseph of Cupertino exactly as it happened, nor are any of the excellent Italian Catholic movies released through Saint Ignatius Press completely accurate. And "Quo Vadis," one of the greatest Christian movies ever made, is not very much in step with Henryk Sienkiewicz's great Nobel Prize winning novel by that same name. This doesn't make any of these movies not worth watching, and I would recommend wholeheartedly every single one of them. They are all masterpieces and so is "Bakhita." It will simply stun you with its powerful message of love--because the cruelty and prejudice it portrays is part of everyone's life and has never gone away (in fact people are worse today and have less excuse to be since they are better educated and should know better).

Also, yes, the people who kidnap Bakhita in this movie are Arabs and K. Ostrowski simply cannot recognize that through lack of knowledge of anthropology. The Muslims who rule northern Sudan to this day consider themselves to be Arabs, though they are much darker than the Arabs in Syria or Iraq and most people, since they are not familiar with ethnic differences, will not be able to make a distinction. That is why the world couldn't understand the massacre of Africans by Arabs in Darfour (both Muslims), because they both looked black to Westerners. Yet the Sudanese slave owner of Bakhita and his family have facial features of Arab Sudanese, which are features of a mixed race,including a straight nose, vs. the African Sudanese portrayed in this movie who have more obvious, pure African features. So, though this movie doesn't portray the issue of Muslim Arabs enslaving pagan Africans, the dress of the slave holders is obviously Arab and associated with Islam. But the point of the movie is love, not hatred for Muslims or anyone else. Also, Bakhita having a memento from a witch doctor throughout the movie is not a sign of supporting paganism in the movie. Catholicism has been wonderful in being able to take certain cultural symbols, often quite pagan, and making them Christian. For example, the Christmas tree is a symbol of everlasting life given to us by the birth of Christ, yet it is directly descended from the sacred tree cults of the druids of the pre-Christian pagan era in Europe. Bakhita's necklace simply reminds her of the home she came from, as her only link to freedom, the freedom that she does not actually find in its fullness until she encounters Jesus Christ and His Church. The Catholic imagery of this movie is unmistakable and there is nothing secular about it. The priests, the nuns, the Cardinal Patriarch of Venice are shown with great nobility and true Christian love. One feature that impressed me was how it was actually the beauty of Catholic art that brings Bakhita in this movie to the Catholic faith and to her final decision about becoming a nun. A plain, Protestant church would not have converted Bakhita--it was the stark image of a crucifix and the beauty of a Madonna with Child which bring her to these life changing events.

This is a tear-jerker and everyone should enjoy it. Because of some graphic scenes of violence and cruelty, this movie is not appropriate for small children, though teenagers should be encouraged to see this amazing movie.
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on June 7, 2012
This is a very inspiring movie on the life of St. Bakhita and one my absolute favorites. I love the approach this director takes on the religious movies he makes, which makes the films entertaining and respectful to the saint or religious topic he shows. Of course there are quite a few parts about this movie that aren't true, but let's face it, how many religious movies out there are 100% true to every fact they portray? Very few. If this movie had shown St.Bakhita in an irreverent manner, then I would have to say don't waste your money on this, BUT TRUST ME IT DOESN'T! In my opinion, the purpose of this movie isn't to show an historically true biography on her, but to take the important events in her life and show them in film in such a way that people can easier comprehend what she endured, how she lived, and how any one of us, no matter our background, or how painful our lives have been, can forgive our enemies and become a saint.
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on March 27, 2016
My wife and I cried and cringed throughout this dramatic and engaging dramatic take on the life of Canossian Sister Josephine Bakhita. This movie takes one from Bakhita, a Sudanese slave girl from childhood to adulthood. What comes through is the heart and love of serving her fellow man- and womankind regardless of how she was treated. This slave had the heart of a godly servant. She suffers humiliation, beatings and threats to her life as she rises from being a slave to being a servant of God as a sister. this film does not pull any punches about its criticism of Italian nobility of the 19th century. The relationship between her and the Italian family she lived with carries the emotional engine of the movie. I would recommend but caution that your heart will be touched by this film.
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on June 11, 2014
I bought this movie expecting it to be kind of "run of the mill." Boy, was I surprised. This movie is well acted, and beautifully tells the story of Bakhita - who was kidnapped from her village and sold into slavery. She is resold time and time again, enduring much abuse at the hands of her "owners." Despite her torments, she always remains a humble, kind. hardworking and generous person. She never seems to let her abusers get the best of her. Bakhita learns of God, and through her selfless life, grows in sanctity giving all of herself to God. She is released from captivity and takes her vows as a religious, eventually even climbing to the heights of Sainthood. This is a very long movie....but it is well worth the watch. It is a beautiful, stunning, inspirational film.
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on August 8, 2016
A sumptuous movie that touches the heart, mind, and soul and plenty of adventure too. It is really more of a feature film than a documentary taking liberty with the "true life of the Saint" and as such, has appeal, and resonance, with all creeds, colors, and races. It is about humanity. The viewer will not be able to put this movie on "pause" once it has started. Fatou Kine Boye is achingly beautiful in this part
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on March 16, 2017
Although this rendition is not totally accurate, the lead star gives a wonderful performance of what St. Josephine Bakhita may have been like.
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on August 8, 2011
I began watching this movie with some hesitation....the 3 hour plus length...and because I have been disappointed with foreign movies about saints before. However this turned out to be a great movie! I watched the whole thing in one setting. The directer did a beautiful job in showing the inner virtues of Bahkita. My critism is that the directer used too much in the story that was not factual... I thought her life was interesting enough without adding to it...so it is important to read about Bakhita's life so as to be able to sift out fact from fiction. I plan on showing it to my religion classes.
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on October 3, 2016
I saw this DVD on TV a few year ago and decided I wanted a copy because I loved it so very much. Therefore I ordered it from you recently and love it even more. I am going to lend it to a nurse at Little Sisters of the Poor because she looks like the star of the DVD and she also is simply full of love towards the residents. Thanks for sending to me and having it on hand.
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