An F.B.I. Agent persuades a social worker, who is adept with a new experimental technology, to enter the mind of a comatose serial killer in order to learn where he has hidden his latest kidnap victim.
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>
Patricia Arquette was Rupert Wainwright's first choice to play Frankie. See more »
When Frankie is being wheeled down the ER hallway near the beginning of the film, she is wearing pink lipstick (strange enough, since she just came from the bath). But moments later when she is revived on the ER table and the doctor is talking to her, she is wearing dark red lipstick. See more »
[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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It is important to note that in the director's alternate ending, Frankie suffers the fifth wound of Christ (or stigmata) -- the piercing of the side. Earlier in the movie, Father Kiernan suggests that only the most pious receive the wounds of Christ and that the more wounds they receive, the more pious they are. He also says that no one has ever received all 5. See more »
The "stigmata" is a Christian religious term that refers to the spontaneous appearance of wounds corresponding to the wounds on the Christ's body when he was crucified. This religious experience is most typically associated with deeply religious people and, I believe, is not one that is widely taken seriously. What makes this movie interesting is that it portrays the appearance of these wounds as a terrifying, extremely painful and ultimately humiliating experience. There's nothing conventionally religious in the experience portrayed here -- in fact, the victim is an athiest.
But, having bypassed the conventional, the movie is only partially successful in bringing the experience of the stigmata to the screen. The movie is a victim itself of a conventional portrayal of the evil bureaucratic Vatican desk jockeys suppressing "true" religion. And I have to admit that, as I was watching it, I found myself thinking, "Hmm, that sounds like the Gospel of Thomas," -- a famous Gnostic Gospel. Surprise.
But, overall, I'd recommend it as a decent movie and a departure from the generic, bland portrayal of Christian religious experience a la the Hallmark channel or "Touched by an Angel." It is a movie that can make you think about the nature of religious experience and its impact on an ordinary life.
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