Romero

( 3 )

Overview

In El Salvador in the late '70s, the wealthy few rule the impoverished many. To maintain the status quo against peasant insurgents and labor organizations, the military regime brutalizes the populace, in particular, rebels who espouse Marxism. Assassinations, executions, and disappearances become commonplace. When the Vatican elevates conservative Oscar Arnulfo Romero Raul Julia to archbishop, the military rulers believe he will quiet the masses and the activist priests who support them. "Blessed are the ...
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Overview

In El Salvador in the late '70s, the wealthy few rule the impoverished many. To maintain the status quo against peasant insurgents and labor organizations, the military regime brutalizes the populace, in particular, rebels who espouse Marxism. Assassinations, executions, and disappearances become commonplace. When the Vatican elevates conservative Oscar Arnulfo Romero Raul Julia to archbishop, the military rulers believe he will quiet the masses and the activist priests who support them. "Blessed are the peacemakers," he will preach. At first, that is precisely what he does. But when soldiers thwart voters, shoot indiscriminately into crowds, torture dissidents, and kill a dedicated priest and friend of Romero, the archbishop condemns the regime in radio messages, rebukes quisling bishops, and leads a peasant march into a church occupied by soldiers. He also insults and defies the El Salvadoran president Harold Cannon, an iron-fisted general, who, ironically, has the same last name as the archbishop Romero, but is not related. The country by this time is in the throes of civil war. In 1980, when military death squads continue their reign of terror even though the government institutes so-called reforms, Romero continues to speak out, gaining international attention. The film then builds to its climax, a scene recreating the events of Monday, March 25, 1980, when Romero is saying mass for his recently deceased mother. Attendees include four men who have no intention of reciting mea culpas or receiving the Holy Eucharist.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
This 1989 production faithfully chronicles Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero's struggle with his conscience, his brother priests, and a brutal military regime during the seismic social upheaval in El Salvador in 1980. In a deeply affecting performance, Raul Julia portrays the beleaguered Romero -- a kind of 20th century Thomas à Becket -- with such passion and dignity that it is hard to imagine anyone else right for the role. At the beginning of the film, Julia molds himself into a psychological and philosophical replica of Romero: a bookish, old-school prelate who eschews the political activism practiced by radical priests to bring down tyrannical government overlords. One must render to Caesar what is Caesar's, he believes. But after the murders of dissident peasants and priests, Julia's Romero abandons status-quo passivism for peaceful political activism. The transition is slow and subtle, sans epiphany, with Julia displaying as much fear and regret as courage and resolution. And then the day comes when Julia forms his character into a rock of defiance: "You are a liar," he tells the double-dealing El Salvadoran president. The gauntlet is down. Romero's fate is sealed. Like Becket eight centuries before, Romero meets his fate in a cathedral. And also like Becket, he does not die completely. His spirit lives on. Supporting performances are good, and the camera makes a significant contribution to the success of the film with scenes of peasant squalor and aristocratic plenitude. The Paulist Fathers, a Roman Catholic religious order, produced the film on a limited budget -- and prayers.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/1998
  • UPC: 031398522836
  • Original Release: 1989
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lions Gate
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Raul Julia Archbishop Oscar Romero
Richard Jordan Fr. Rutilio Grande
Ana Alicia Arista Zalads
Tony Plana Fr. Manuel Morantes
Lucy Reina Lucia
Tony Perez Father Rafael Villez
Rene Pereyra Cigarette Man
Harold Gould Francisco Galedo
Juan Peláez Ernesto Claramount
Eddie Velez Lieutenant Columa
Jose Chavez Trowe Don Manuel
Robert Viharo Colonel Ernesto Dorio
Eduardo Lopez Rojas Bishop Cordova
Ruben Rojo Archbishop Chavez
Antonio Serrano Corporal
Al Ruscio Bishop Estrada
Abel Woolrich Campesino
Álvaro Carcaño Soldier
Victor Carpinteiro National Guard
Arturo Rodriguez Doring Juan
Damián Alcázar Campesino
Claudio Brook Bishop Flores
Alejandro Bracho Father Alfonzo Osuna
Rocio Munoz Campesino
Martin Lasalle Bishop Rivera y Damas
Francisco Mauri Salvador Ramos
Evangelina Elizondo Josephina Gatedo
José Escandón National Guard
Regino Herrerra Campesino
Jose Antonio Estrada Man with Photo Album
Technical Credits
John Duigan Director
Geoff Burton Cinematographer
Roger Ford Production Designer
Ellwood E. Kieser Producer
Lawrence Mortorff Executive Producer, Producer
Frans Vandenburg Editor
Gabriel Yared Score Composer
John Sacret Young Executive Producer, Producer, Screenwriter
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What Liberation Theology is About

    This movie puts all the issues that led to Liberation Theology into dramatic form. The basic problem is social injustice: the poor are poor because the rich are rich. To protect their wealth, the ruling class uses the military to silence anyone who protests. Romero (Raul Julia) goes from being a conservative bookworm to an activist for social justice. The acting is top-notch, and the story as gripping as classical tragedy. I teach Religion courses and have used this film for years to show what real Christianity looks like.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    UMA VIDA,UM TESTEMUNHO,MUITAS VIDAS!

    ESTE FILME É UM EXCELENTE RETRATO DAS NEFASTAS DITADURAS IMPINGIDAS ÀS AMÉRICAS LATINA E CENTRAL. RAUL JULIA ENCORPOROU DE MODO EXTRAORDINÁRIO A 'PAZ INQUIETA'VIVIDA PELO ARCEBISPO ROMERO. ASSISTIR A ESTE FILME É,COM CERTEZA,UMA MANEIRA DE DAR MAIS UM PASSO NA LONGA CAMINHADA ESPIRITUAL, ALÉM DE SER UMA GRANDE AULA DE HISTÓRIA.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Romero is one of the best

    Good for all Catholics and even some non-Catholics the film shows how people will bleed and die for their faith, and how the clergy can be leaders and how they can stand up for our rights. A really excellent film, while having violence it can be a family movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews