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Be forewarned of “Restless Heart” movie about St. Augustine February 4, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, Basics, Domestic Church, error, family, foolishness, fun, General Catholic, sadness, Saints, scandals.

I had been told by an acquaintance that they were shocked by the egregious content in the Ignatius movie “Restless Heart,” ostensibly about the life of St. Augustine. They said it was pretty much an R-rated movie with lots of near nudity, blatantly displayed sex scenes, and tons of gory violence.  They also said the movie did not present very well St. Augustine’s life and conversion as he describes it himself in his Confessions.  They were very surprised that Ignatius would release it under their name. I sort of filed that away and carried on with my life.

Then, over the holidays, we watched another Ignatius movie on Saint Barbara.  It was a fair movie, but the story bore absolutely no resemblance to the Saint’s life, save for the character names.  It was almost completely made up, and turned into a long drawn out drama what was really a pretty quick martyrdom.

So today I was over at Bishop Gracida’s good blog, and I found this review of “Restless Heart” from him.  Given what I know of Bishop Gracida, this review carries a fair amount of weight with me:

Instead of watching the Super Bowl 2014, we watched the fairly new St. Augustin video from Ignatius Press. It’s interesting how much emphasis the producers put on Augustin’s sex life in this video, and how explicit the sex was that was shown on screen.  We had to fast forward thru lots of the video.     Regarding the conversion of Augustin, it was shown briefly, but how disappointing it was that his lovely Mother, Saint Monica, was not shown to be the greatest influence upon his conversion.  Nothing was shown of her holy tears and petitions thru Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan.  The great story of Augustin is of Monica, his Mother, her prayers and tears.  The end of the movie was strange, leading the viewers to believe he was murdered by the Vandals who attacked the city of Hippo.  I don’t recommend this video, a waste of time and distortion of the true conversion of Augustin.

The movie is pretty highly rated on Amazon, but lots of the 5 star commenters say something to the effect of:  “I know absolutely nothing about St. Augustine and I’ve never read any of his works, but this movie really gave me a good feel for his life!”  Well, how do you know?!?  But seriously, I did see even in the 4 and 5 star comments some statements that the sex was overly explicit and that there was lots of violence.  Since this is the kind of movie my readers might consider buying, I thought I’d warn you.

I read one other review that described the movie as being a hard PG-13. So, whether R- or PG-13, at the least I’d say parents ought to view this movie before letting their kids see it.

I actually find many of these Italian movies about saints that Ignatius releases so-so, at best.  Now, there are some good ones, like Bakhita (but again, sex and violence  in small parts) and Padre Pio (totally clear, recommended), but I’ve also come across a number of duds.  For a Saint movie I can really recommend wholeheartedly, check out The Reluctant Saint about St. Joseph of Cupertino.

So, will this review of “Restless Heart” set off the firestorm Tolkien talk did?  I hope not!


1. TG - February 4, 2014

Thanks for the heads up. I was thinking of buying it. I’ll just wait to see if Netflix will offer it. I’ve watched a lot of Italian movies about the saints thru Netflix. I agree on the movie about St. Joseph of Cupetino being a good movie. I liked Bakhita. St. John Bosco and Ians Scotus – I thought they were good.

tantamergo - February 4, 2014

Yep, I agree. I like the Duns Scotus movie – not much plot, but still enjoyable. St. John Bosco is also good.

2. St Maravillas21 - February 4, 2014

It’s no wonder Ignatius pushes this movie. They have pushed and sell a horrendously bad movie on the Carmelite nun saint who died a martyr in Auschwitz, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). That movie is an awful portrayal of her and makes her out to be a loony as well as the other nuns! SO many inaccuracies of her and her life and the life in Carmel – to many to list here. Made me ill. I definitely don’t recommend that movie either.

tantamergo - February 4, 2014

Thanks. I have seen that and I’m not a big fan, either. It’s meant to be, I think, a very stylistic portrayal, but in trying to be all arty the Saints life essentially gets lost. She exists almost like background in her own biopic. You could see the filmmaker was very troubled, not sure how to present the story of a Jew converting to Catholicism. They didn’t want to get hit with cries of anti-semitism, I’m sure. But the product was very muddled.

3. Magdalene Prodigal - February 4, 2014

I did not care much for the St/ Augustine movie either. But I do recommend Maximilian from Leonardo Difilippis and I like the St. Rita movie from Ignatius Press. Not to be missed is A Man For All Seasons…just to name a few.

tantamergo - February 4, 2014

The Leonardo DeFillipis movies are all pretty good. Some are different, but I think they are generally a cut above.

4. Baseballmom - February 4, 2014

Sorry to hear this. Those guys at IP are good friends of mine…. And orthodox to their core. I have seen some of the Italian films they have marketed and thought they were not that great…. Not bad, just not that great. DeFillipis films and plays are always “different” – but reliable and good.

5. Elizabeth - February 5, 2014

I’ve long since stopped buying or even looking at the Ignatius catalogs that they continue to send me. Sorry to say that I simply don’t trust Ignatius Press anymore. I did, early on in my conversion, believe them to be “the” voice of Catholicism. No more. Well written review, as always.

6. LaGallina - February 5, 2014

“The Reluctant Saint” is a great movie! We loved it. I think I might make it next year’s Christmas present for all my siblings. Even though they aren’t Catholic, they will enjoy this sweet and funny story.

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