The Jewish Cardinal tells the amazing true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who maintained his cultural identity as a Jew even after converting to ...
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The Jewish Cardinal tells the amazing true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who maintained his cultural identity as a Jew even after converting to Catholicism at a young age, and later joining the priesthood. Quickly rising within the ranks of the Church, Lustiger was appointed Archbishop of Paris by Pope Jean Paul II - and found a new platform to celebrate his dual identity as a Catholic Jew, earning him both friends and enemies from both groups. When Carmelite nuns settle down to build a convent within the cursed walls of Auschwitz, Lustiger finds himself a mediator between the two communities - and may be forced at last to choose his side.Written by
I just saw this film at a Jewish film festival, and found it very thought-provoking and emotionally disquieting-- which I mean in a GOOD sense. I am neither Catholic nor Jewish, and so when I saw that the French title, "Le Metis de Dieu" points to a more universal phenomenon than the English title "The Jewish Cardinal," my cinephile self had more reason to regret the difficulty of procuring a broader distribution.
The psychological, historical, cultural, and philosophical complexities of this make the 90- something minute running time something of a marvel, and indeed leave the viewer wanting more, while already feeling treated to an experience that goes far beyond the genre of "biopic," or "docudrama" would lead one to expect. The eccentric, often petulant man, navigating between the different cultural identities within himself while confronting the real- world challenges that history has set in his path is a full-blooded, multidimensional character and not an object of reverence.
Meanwhile, as the camera travels from Orleans to Paris to Rome to Auschwitz and returning again to scenes of childhood and family, we witness a visual feast that surpasses our "made- for-TV" expectations.
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