Christopher Hitchens investigates whether Mother Teresa of Calcutta deserves her saintly image. He probes her campaigns against contraception and foeticide and her questionable relationships with wealthy religious and political leaders.

Director:

Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A film about the war crimes of the American diplomat, Henry Kissinger.

Director: Eugene Jarecki
Stars: Brian Cox, Henry Kissinger, Anna Chennault
Root of All Evil? (TV Movie 2006)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Richard Dawkins' highly critical documentary attacks the pulsing heart of all mainstream religion- faith; with special focus on Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Contains repeated ... See full summary »

Director: Russell Barnes
Stars: Yousef Al-Khattab, Richard Dawkins, Ted Haggard
Outrage I (2009)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An indictment of closeted politicians who lobby for anti-gay legislation in the U.S.

Director: Kirby Dick
Stars: Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Wayne Barrett
Porta dos Fundos (TV Series 2012)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A series of short comedy films.

Stars: Fábio Porchat, Marcos Veras, Gabriel Totoro
Bill Maher: The Decider (TV Special 2007)
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Comedian, writer and politically incorrect HBO talk-show host Bill Maher takes time off from his regular hosting duties to perform a hilariously scathing stand-up set in this comedy special... See full summary »

Director: John Moffitt
Stars: Bill Maher
Short | Animation
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An old fisherman goes out on his fishing trip and makes a huge catch, the biggest of his life.

Director: Aleksandr Petrov
Stars: Gordon Pinsent, Kevin Duhaney, Yôji Matsuda
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Louis returns to the Phelps family to find that several members have left the cult, and that they are being sued.

Director: Emma Cooper
Stars: Louis Theroux, Steve Drain, Betty Phelps
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Renowned scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss cross the globe as they speak publicly about the importance of science and reason in the modern world.

Director: Gus Holwerda
Stars: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Woody Allen, Richard Dawkins
Why We Fight (2005)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.

Director: Eugene Jarecki
Stars: Gore Vidal, John McCain, Ken Adelman
Talking Funny (TV Movie 2011)
Comedy | Talk-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais and Louis C.K. let their guards down in an intimate, unscripted conversation about what it means to be a comedian.

Director: John Moffitt
Stars: Louis C.K., Ricky Gervais, Chris Rock
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The documentary COLLISION pits leading atheist, political journalist and author Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything) against fellow author and ... See full summary »

Director: Darren Doane
Stars: Douglas Wilson, Christopher Hitchens
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Jeff Scheftel
Stars: Christopher Hitchens
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jean-Bertrand Aristide ...
Himself (as Fr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide)
Mihir Bose ...
Himself
Mary Loudon ...
Herself
Ken McMillan ...
Himself
Mother Teresa ...
Herself
Edit

Storyline

Christopher Hitchens investigates whether Mother Teresa of Calcutta deserves her saintly image. He probes her campaigns against contraception and foeticide and her questionable relationships with wealthy religious and political leaders.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 November 1994 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Hell's Angel: Mother Teresa of Calcutta  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features Something Beautiful for God (1969) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
„What, when the devil tempts you to do good …?"
16 November 2014 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

There are certain people who seem to inspire sympathy and admiration by the sheer value of their reputation, even among people with whom they don't share creed, social-background or any other common denominator. To mind come the Dalai Lama, Ghandi or Diana Spencer, former princess of Wales. In simple terms, just hearing those names make most people convinced that they're automatically dealing with "the good guys" or some "messianic figures". Among those names is Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, an Albanian nun, who today is better known under her nome de guerre Mother Teresa.

As is often the case, people tend to celebrate the good sides while choosing to ignore the negative aspects. Surely, Ghandi was fundamental in the independence of India, but many would like to forget that he was an unrepentant racists who, would he have lived, might well have turned India into a backward, feudal-like nation. People remember the beautiful, media-savvy "Lady Di", disregarding that she was also a calculating hanger-on, whose main (if not only) real accomplishment was to sell more tabloids to bored housewives around the world.

It seems only fitting that journalist, author and one of the most militant Atheists of his time, Christopher Hitchens, should sink his teeth and sharp wit into the titular Hell's Angel, Mother Teresa. As one reviewer pointed out: don't expect an objective documentary. "Hell's Angel" is as objective as the documentary "Something Beautiful for God", which brought Mother Teresa into the limelight back in the late 1960's. However, what it lacks in objectivity, it compensates manifold with facts and common sense.

First, we see the "Home of the Dying", the hospices founded by Teresa in Calcutta. Here we see scenes that one participant likened to a concentration camp, where the poor go to die, although (often) simple medication could save their lives and nuns work with nothing more than a handful of aspirin and unclean needles. We are told that it is their job to "help the dying pass as peacefully as possible", not to cure or medicate.

We follow Teresa as she's being handed around the media-circus, being courted by statesmen, royalty, the rich and influential, but also the corrupt and bloodthirsty, megalomaniac dictators like Haiti's "Papa Doc" or Enva Hoxa in her native Albania. Teresa shakes all those hands without discrimination. There's preciously little talk about the poor or impoverished coming from Mother Teresa. Rather, like a tape-recorder set to eternal replay, she repeats her diatribes against contraceptives and abortion. Whether an official statistic is available I know not, but arguably her uncompromising stance has caused millions of deaths and much misery in the Third World alone. But Hitchens does not paint Teresa as an evil person, who hides behind the mask of piety. Rather, (perhaps not even realizing it completely), she is shown as a naïve and willing tool, who is used to promote the doctrines of her bosses in the Vatican. In essence, she was the definition of a zealot.

Had this documentary been shot a few years later, after Mother Teresa passed away, Hitchens could have added the attempts of the Catholic Church (no less fraudulent than above mentioned "Something Beautiful for God", but no less successful) at beatification and canonization of Mother Teresa. Of course such a beatification required a certified miracle. Such miracle was quickly found in India, where a woman named "Monica" claimed that the deceased nun had cured her of cancer in 2002. Opposing that claim were her husband (who claimed that medicine had cured her) and her physician (who claimed that the cancer wasn't a cancer but a cyst) – but such trivia didn't stand between Mother Teresa being declaring her "blessed" (a second miracle, which would make her a saint, is expected in the near future).

"If the devil tempts you to do good", reasons Richard III in Shakespeare's play. If you consider yourself living in the age of reason and don't believe in the devil, it could be argued that fanaticism, gullibility, ignorance and manipulation do just as good a job.

I'd give the documentary a 9/10, being short and straight to the point; it is just doubtful whether Mother Theresa fans and believers will enjoy it very much.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How can I see this film? knightbox
Discuss Hell's Angel (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page