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They Killed Sister Dorothy (2008)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 17 April 2009 (Brazil)
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They Killed Sister Dorothy is a movie starring Wagner Moura, Felício Pontes, and Martin Sheen. Documentary on the killing of 73-year-old Catholic nun and activist Sister Dorothy Stang in February 2005, in the state of Pará (Brazilian rain forest), where she, for 30 years, fought ... See full summary »

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7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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... (Narrator)
Felício Pontes ... Himself
... Narrator (voice)
Becky Spires ... Herself (as Sister Becky Spires)
David Stang ... Himself
Dorothy Stang ... Herself (archive footage) (as Sister Dorothy Stang)
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Documentary on the killing of 73-year-old Catholic nun and activist Sister Dorothy Stang in February 2005, in the state of Pará (Brazilian rain forest), where she, for 30 years, fought along with environmentalists and the underprivileged local communities against the exploitation of powerful loggers and landowners. Written by fabreu

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17 April 2009 (Brazil)  »

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Mataram Irmã Dorothy  »

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A Powerful film about the Death of a Remarkable Woman
11 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

They Killed Sister Dorothy had its World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX. This film is a powerful testament to the work of a saintly American nun who spent more than 30 years in Brazil helping the poor and working to prevent the destruction of the Amazon rain forests through a sustainable development program. At time when the ugly side of Christianity is often on the front pages - from Christian fundamentalists to pedophile priests - Sister Dorothy represents the true spirit of decency inherent in the Christian ideal. Indeed, in her tragic death she emerges as a Christ-like martyr.

The film focuses on her murder by wealthy ranchers opposed to her project and the efforts to bring her killers to justice. The film shows how difficult it is to achieve justice within a corrupt political system where those with money have a great deal of power and influence and "justice" is often for sale. The film brings into focus many of the conflicts that exist in the Third World development today.

This film deserves to be seen by a wider audience and would be an excellent film for use in high school and college classrooms. The film is a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman. My only criticism is that it runs a little long and could have focused considerably less on the various details of the trials and a bit more on the theological underpinnings of Dorothy's work - presumably in Liberation theology. This would have added greater depth to this powerful and loving portrait.


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