A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them.
A priest from the Vatican is sent to Sao Paulo, Brazil to investigate the appearance of the face of the Virgin Mary on the side of a building. While there he hears of a statue of the Virgin Mary bleeding tears in a small town outside of the city. Meanwhile, a young woman in the U.S. begins to show signs of stigmata, the wounds of Christ. The priest from the Vatican links up with her and cares for her as she is increasingly afflicted by the stigmata. Her ranting and raving finally begins to make sense to the priest who starts to question what his religion has stood for for the last 1900 years. Written by
Jeff Mellinger <email@example.com>
[Frankie is possessed by Father Alameida]
Jesus said... the Kingdom of God is inside you, and all around you, not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood... and I am there, lift a stone... and you will find me.
Father Andrew Kiernan:
Brother Alameida, I call upon you to release this woman. Give her grace and let her not come into the ways of harm. For through Jesus Christ we have all been saved and let us not fear any ill. For Jesus is with us, and the Unity of the Holy Spirit will remain forever, and ...
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Stigmata is at the very least controversial. I feel that it's really struggling to find a genre, so it's harsh to compare it to the Exorcist as many have. This is a film based somewhat on truth, and somewhat on legend with a little Hollywood finesse to bring it all together. It doesn't stay completely true to either a Christian audience or to mainstream Hollywood, but I think that's to it's credit. I don't know many people who knowingly make this kind of cross-over in their normal rental choices, so in that way, it helps to reach the largest possible audience. The way that the film afflicts it's heroine with the stigmata through the rosary is just typical screenwriting, and the romance aspects are predictable. The film, based upon the discovery of the Gospel of Thomas, assumes that the discovery of that scroll had never been know to the public, and that personal vendettas within the Vatican had helped to suppress it. In reality however, there have been numerous translations of that Gospel, although I rather doubt that the modern bible will be amended. (Due to it's debated authenticity.) In short, the film is thought-provoking, yet not heavy-handed in it's message. It leaves you asking questions as to your own faith, and to the nature of the established "church" far after you've reached the final credits. As an action-suspense-thriller I'd rank it about a 7 out of 10, but in terms of it's religious nature it succeeds greatly in the find-the-truth-for-yourself message that it conveys.
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