Trailer: For Greater Glory

posted at 10:25 am on March 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Getting a film to make an impact often depends on timing, as well as the ability to get the word out.  For instance, no one might have expected a historical epic like Braveheart to have much cultural influence, but the combination of having a star like Mel Gibson and the political timing of a push for independence in Scotland turned it into a phenomenon — as well as just being an entertaining and gripping film.  We may see the same elements in play this June, when For Greater Glory hits the screens.  With a cast that includes Academy Award nominees Andy Garcia, Peter O’Toole, and Catalina Sandino Moreno as well as Eva Longoria and Oscar Isaac, the film about the Cristero War in Mexico in the late 1920s will be hard to ignore:

I’ve had a chance to look at a very rough cut of this film, and it’s very impressive.  For Greater Glory tells the story of the Mexican government’s attempt to stamp out the Catholic Church under President Calles (played by Ruben Blades), and the uprising that followed, a civil war that killed 90,000 people.  Calles attempted to enforce the anti-clerical laws put into Mexico’s 1917 socialist Constitution by demanding the expulsion of foreign priests, banning public demonstrations of faith (including the wearing of clerical garb), and making criticism of the government by priests punishable by five years in prison.  A boycott organized by the Catholic Church prompted Calles to get even tougher, and open war broke out.  Enrique Gorostieta (Andy Garcia), a general who had fought for the winning side in the revolution, chose to lead the Cristero rebellion, and the film focuses mainly on Gorostieta, two of his lieutenants, and a young boy named Jose Sanchez del Rio, who was later beatified by the Catholic Church.

Without knowing how the finished product turns out, I can’t offer a formal review.  I can say that the film is gripping even in its current form.  For Greater Glory definitely takes a pro-Cristero point of view, but Braveheart took a pro-Scots point of view as well, and I’d argue that For Greater Glory sticks closer to the known facts (although obviously much gets left out of a two-hour movie).  The cast is terrific; one would expect that from Garcia and Blades, but Mauricio Kuri is especially good as Jose, and Santiago Cabrera as the fighting priest Father Vega, who appears to be an amalgam of two historical figures, Jose Reyes Vega and Aristeo Pedroza.

Given the debate in this country over the nature of religious freedom, the timing of the release will be very interesting.  Braveheart showed how a good film can change the political environment, and For Greater Glory looks like a very good film indeed.  Keep an eye out on June 1st to find where it will be playing, and I hope to get a chance to talk with a few of the principals in the film between then and now.

Update: The Anchoress offers a “Viva Cristo Rey!” to the trailer.


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I have to go, bye all.

nathor on March 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Please don’t come back.

Trafalgar on March 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM

nathor on March 21, 2012 at 11:51 AM

So I my guess it that you define reality as you see fit.

But back to my question:

I’m speaking of the Downgrade regime’s attacks on religious and other Liberties.

Are you in favor of these attacks?

Chip on March 21, 2012 at 12:04 PM

the free exercise of religion includes ALL aspects of the religion, not just praying.

So if a Muslim says killing Jews is just part of his free exercise of religion (and reading his preferred holy book, he’s right), then it’s Constitutionally protected.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM

If a Muslim says he believes that killing Jews, or anybody else, is endorsed by his religion, he’s Constitutionally protected. If he kills Jews, or anybody else, he’s not. You see, one’s rights do not extend to depriving someone else of theirs. Even you can’t be that uninformed on this.

Trafalgar on March 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

If a Muslim says he believes that killing Jews, or anybody else, is endorsed by his religion, he’s Constitutionally protected. If he kills Jews, or anybody else, he’s not. You see, one’s rights do not extend to depriving someone else of theirs. Even you can’t be that uninformed on this.

Trafalgar on March 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Except that we’re not talking about just free speech. We’re talking about free exercise – ie, the ability to practice what your religions dictates.

This is a distinction you made.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM

This is a distinction you made.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM

What part of “your free exercise of your rights stops at the point where they infringe on someone else’s rights” are you having difficulty understanding? Or are you just being obtuse for its own sake?

Trafalgar on March 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Peter O’Toole? I can’t wait.

BigGator5 on March 21, 2012 at 12:43 PM

What part of “your free exercise of your rights stops at the point where they infringe on someone else’s rights” are you having difficulty understanding? Or are you just being obtuse for its own sake?

Trafalgar on March 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM

You’re making the argument for the equalization of marriage rights and privileges for homosexuals.

Just so you know.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM

You’re making the argument for the equalization of marriage rights and privileges for homosexuals.

Just so you know.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM

You’re flailing around with strawmen and starting to sound ridiculous.

Just so you know.

Trafalgar on March 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

BigGator5 on March 21, 2012 at 12:43 PM

I know! Have you seen “My Favorite Year”?

Cindy Munford on March 21, 2012 at 1:08 PM

This looks very interesting, I may have to go see it when it is released. Besides enjoying the film work of O’Toole and Garcia, the subject matter is appealing to me. I hope that Bl. Miguel Pro is at least given a cameo, or rather someone portraying the martyred priest. I don’t blame the Mexican government for wanting to remove undo influence from the Catholic Church over national affairs, but typical fo the socialists they became just as bad as those they criticized – and worse in some cases. You cannot claim to champion freedom and liberty while seeking to outright ban the religious practices of others. This wasn’t just a disagreement over what role religion should have in the public arena but whether Catholicism itself could even be freely practiced in Mexico. As much as I criticize the Church for its mistakes in politics I could not side with anyone who sought to stamp her out.

JohnAGJ on March 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

You’re making the argument for the equalization of marriage rights and privileges for homosexuals.

Just so you know.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM

There is not one state in this union where homosexuals are prevented from marry each other, they just don’t get government endorsement in most.

Freedom is never about what the government gives you, but what government protects. Thinking otherwise enslaves you.

CaliforniaRefugee on March 21, 2012 at 1:16 PM

not this argument again, who cares, the point is, we live in a secular system, and you are not being stopped of criticizing it.
I have to go, bye all.

nathor on March 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Just like in Valenzuela when they elected Hugo Chavez and he implemented Socialism. Yeah sure the secular state is all about free speech and free expression, the ability of the people to criticize authority/

nathor the reason you can criticize anything is because you are living among a large well armed human population. I stated to you before all your fence sitting – not picking a side, is going to get you is splinters in your behind.

Political power grows from the barrel of a gun, Mao Zedong (communist secular dictator)

Dr Evil on March 21, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Can you people please stop pushing progressive social issues and just concentrate on the economy?

So tired of the PROCONs. They’re going to ruin it for us.

hawkdriver on March 21, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM

What if we all just did as you seem to be recommending? Define our social structure with no limits and basically, no sense of how the rules we make affect society. What happens if it turns out you are wrong and we end up in a society that no one wants to live in? Are we going to be able to get back to what we have now, which seems to have worked pretty well for last 200 years? You’ll just go your way, but my children and grandchildren are going to have to live in the crap society that you have thought would be so much better. Do you think this country just happenend? Do you think all of the good things that we currently have are a given? People did things, made choices that gave us what we have had. Its just a game to you.

LL1960 on March 21, 2012 at 1:44 PM

An element of this debate is between those who argue that we cannot legislate morality, but then turn around and dictate how we practice religion in public.

Anyone who says we can’t legislate morality is totally wrong, because all of our Laws and regulations are based on our collective sense of morality which dictates our right and our wrong.

The problem, then, is that we have a conflict of disparate moralities.

This isn’t something we can solve by dictating laws, but by finding compromise… and that means ALL SIDES have to be able to compromise… and that isn’t happening.

What is happening is one side dictating how the other side should compromise, rather than seeking what they can offer compromise to the other side.

In this, hard core Secularists are no better than hard core Islamists in finding room for compromise with people of other beliefs.

Lawrence on March 21, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Define our social structure with no limits and basically, no sense of how the rules we make affect society.

Is that what I said? Citation needed.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Islam agrees.

So did the Spanish Inquisition.

And the Army of God.

Etc.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM

The Spanish Inquisition killed between 3000 and 5000. Communism (i.e. militant atheism) killed 100 million plus.

Sorry Lt. As history shows, the most bloodthirsty religion is Atheism.

SubmarineDoc on March 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

The Spanish Inquisition killed between 3000 and 5000. Communism (i.e. militant atheism) killed 100 million plus.

Sorry Lt. As history shows, the most bloodthirsty religion is Atheism.

SubmarineDoc on March 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

A) Ever read the Old Testament?

B) Atheism is a religion in the way that not building models is a hobby.

C) The statement “Secularism is a violent phenomenon…” is an asinine statement that isn’t supported by historical evidence. The government of the United States is secular government, which means of course that the Founders were just a violent group of bloodthirsty secular murderers.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Is that what I said? Citation needed.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Are you pro-choice on abortion? Are you for gay marriage?

LL1960 on March 21, 2012 at 3:08 PM

A) Ever read the Old Testament?

Ever Read Marx?

B) Atheism is a religion in the way that not building models is a hobby.

Depends on how you go about it. If you just sit at home and don’t build models, then it is not a hobby. But if you go out and shut down the hobby shops by force and arresting model builders, then it becomes much more than that.

C) The statement “Secularism is a violent phenomenon…” is an asinine statement that isn’t supported by historical evidence. The government of the United States is secular government, which means of course that the Founders were just a violent group of bloodthirsty secular murderers.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Depends on what kind of “secularism” you mean. Our founding fathers had a benign and positive version of secularism, that was open to the free practice of religion. But history is full of malignant secularists (French Revolution, Communists, etc) that sought to erradicate the practice of religion through force.

Frequently, leftists become the mirror image of those people that they hate the most (i.e. Michael Moore and his $$ millions). More and more, athiests are having the same problem.

SubmarineDoc on March 21, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I really shouldn’t, but I will… in response to Matthew Henry’s concise commentary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodom_and_Gomorrah#Religious_views

As you can see, Jewish and Islamic views emphasize the crimes against hospitality and crimes against property. The Christian viewpoints are split down the middle between the sexual and the non-sexual.

There is very little archaeological evidence.

Because of this, I do not see why I should consider Matthew Henry’s opinion authoritative merely because he was the author of a well-regarded Bible commentary. Both of us lived thousands of years after the event, so barring archaeology or direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit , I see no reason to regard his views as anything but opinion. Informed opinion, yes, but speculation nonetheless.

I’ve spent my entire adult life ignoring John Calvin’s views on predestination, Martin Luther’s views on the Jews, and the entire Magisterium’s viewpoint that there is no salvation outside the Catholic church. Given this, I’m sure you can see why it takes more to persuade me of truth than simply pointing out that a well-regarded Bible teacher believes it.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell2 on March 21, 2012 at 3:25 PM

There is very little archaeological evidence. pendell2 on March 21, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven. (Genesis 19:24)

“Fire and brimstone” is a common expression used to describe the sermon of an overzealous preacher, but exactly what is brimstone? The Hebrew word for brimstone in the Biblical verse is gafrit and is usually understood to mean sulfur. The Targum Yonathan ben Uziel translates the word into Aramaic as kivraitah. The term kivraitah appears in the Talmud (Babylonian Talmud Shabbos 89b, 90a; Nidah 62a) and is used in the context of a cleaning agent. It is likely that the Biblical gafrit is the hydrocarbon bitumen, which is the essential ingredient of asphalt. Bitumen can also be distilled into a cleaning agent. Bitumen/asphalt is a naturally occurring, highly flammable substance found in the Dead Sea area. In fact, Josephus refers to the Dead Sea as Lake Asphaltites. [7] It is of interest to note that Josephus writes that the Lake Asphaltites was formed as a result of the devastation that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

there have been corpses around the area of Sodom and Gomorrah that were traumatically encased in this substance. The archaelogical evidence to support biblical events is actually quite strong, in many cases. Locations cities–Jericho is one great example. Dimensions of walls were described for the city. Lee Strobel, a former atheist, asked himself “what is the actual evidence?” regarding the Bible, Jesus, and faith. He wrote a few books outlining that evidence and it is quite compelling.

ted c on March 21, 2012 at 3:54 PM

I much preferred this version of the trailer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pu4gst3FmI

The movie is going to be at theaters in Mexico in April 20th 2012 and in the US in June 1st 2012

99counties on March 21, 2012 at 3:58 PM

The Spanish Inquisition killed between 3000 and 5000…

SubmarineDoc on March 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Oh, come on. Between 3000 and 5000? I’m sure that as technical as someone can get it… but certainly counter-reformation kills dwarfs that selective figure.

The St. Batholomew’s Day Massacre alone (celebrated by the Pope [relatives of King Charles IX of France and Catherine de Medici] by a solemn mass, a coin, and in art at the Vatican) killed tens of thousands.

King Charles IX of France, under the sway of his mother, Catherine de Medici, orders the assassination of Huguenot Protestant leaders in Paris, setting off an orgy of killing that results in the massacre of tens of thousands of Huguenots all across France. – history.com

mankai on March 21, 2012 at 4:02 PM

You see, one’s rights do not extend to depriving someone else of theirs. Even you can’t be that uninformed on this.

Trafalgar on March 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Appparently you don’t count those 53 million executed since Roe by ficticious emanations from penumbras which quickly took away their inalienable rights from the highest of authorities (nature’s) God?

Perhaps when it’s your turn to face the newest form of Godless death panels you remember… what it means to be human?

Don L on March 21, 2012 at 4:18 PM

You see, one’s rights do not extend to depriving someone else of theirs. Even you can’t be that uninformed on this.

Trafalgar on March 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Oops, wrong quote -sorry, I’m obviously with you on this.

Don L on March 21, 2012 at 4:19 PM

mankai on March 21, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Who cares? Is any of that happening today? People did bad things in the name of God. They always do. That does not mean that the order that is achieved in a society that loves God and embraces God is not available to us. I just do not get where you people are coming from. I’m not trying to tell you what to do, but I feel like atheist, etc, are always trying to talk me out of the life choices that I know work for me—trying to live like Jesus advised us to live–love God, love others–be a servant.

LL1960 on March 21, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Ever Read Marx?

Yes.

The Old Testament has far more violence in it than that boring tome of political rhetoric.

Depends on how you go about it. If you just sit at home and don’t build models, then it is not a hobby. But if you go out and shut down the hobby shops by force and arresting model builders, then it becomes much more than that.

No, atheism is simply the lack of a belief in a deity or deities.

But if you go out and shut down the hobby shops by force and arresting model builders, then it becomes much more than that.

Nobody’s doing that anywhere in America except for your head.

Our founding fathers had a benign and positive version of secularism, that was open to the free practice of religion.

Right. And atheists today respect and honor that tradition. And call out those believers who don’t.

But history is full of malignant secularists (French Revolution, Communists, etc) that sought to erradicate the practice of religion through force.

Again, nobody is doing this. We don’t live in communist Russia, Islamist Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Cuba, Mexico, etc.

You have to compare apples to apples.

Frequently, leftists become the mirror image of those people that they hate the most (i.e. Michael Moore and his $$ millions). More and more, athiests are having the same problem.

SubmarineDoc on March 21, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Yeah, there are jackass atheists (a small faction), and a far larger number of jackass believers of all faiths(a minority, at least in America, but the sheer numbers of believers account for this much larger number).

Going by this, I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Frequently, leftists become the mirror image of those people that they hate the most (i.e. Michael Moore and his $$ millions). More and more, athiests are having the same problem.

SubmarineDoc on March 21, 2012 at 3:23 PM

The Marxists in Europe used this technique often. Accuse your enemies of what your are in fact doing, or plan to do.

We see this played out everyday in America.

JellyToast on March 21, 2012 at 4:29 PM

The Catholic Church is not being prevented by the government from saying anything, from congregating, from praying, from expressing their faith to anyone who will listen, etc.

No Christian in this country of 85%+ Christians is a victim.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 11:17 AM

False. Try saying “You should vote for Republican candidate _______ because he/she supports the Christian pro-life worldview.” from the pulpit.

dominigan on March 21, 2012 at 5:12 PM

The Old Testament has far more violence in it than that boring tome of political rhetoric.

Then why did Marx’s “boring” writings kill 100 million people?

Nobody’s doing that anywhere in America except for your head.

You were the one who brought up the Spanish Inquisition, an event that was not in America.

Going by this, I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 4:22 PM

What I am getting at is this: The sauce that is good for the goose is good for the gander. You were using remote historical references in foreign countries (the Spanish Inquisition was half of a millenium ago – at a time when humanity was pretty barbaric) as rhetorical ammunition against the faithful. I merely responded with examples of massacres (done WITHIN LIVING MEMORY) done in the name of militant atheism.

It was you who framed the terms of the debate. I merely “returned fire” under your rules of engagement.

SubmarineDoc on March 21, 2012 at 5:35 PM

mankai on March 21, 2012 at 4:02 PM

My post references the 100 MILLION killed in the name of militant atheism. 100 MILLION. 100 MILLION.

The death tolls that you reference are indeed petty horrific. But they are a rounding error compared to the massacres that have been done in the name of militant atheism.

Going by this, I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

Good Lt on March 21, 2012 at 4:22 PM

If there are any other atheists who object to my dredging up historical examples of atheists behaving badly, then you would be advised to extend the same courtesy to the faithful. (Note: The exception to this would be Jihadism, which has not yet figured out the “peaceful coexistence” thing. And, as the Lt has implied, any large group of people will have a few knuckleheads in it.)

SubmarineDoc on March 21, 2012 at 5:51 PM

…Additionally they are not allowed to intervene with traditional Catholics, who practice a mix of indigenous and Catholic rituals.

mankai on March 21, 2012 at 11:05 AM

If they mix indigenous and Catholic rituals, they most certainly are not “traditional Catholics.”

They sound like syncretists.

The_Jacobite on March 21, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Oops, wrong quote -sorry, I’m obviously with you on this.

Don L on March 21, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Thanks for the correction Don, I was getting ready to unload!

God Bless

Trafalgar on March 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Ed, thanks for the heads up.

This looks very interesting and I love Andy Garcia. (Came here as a boy from Cuba, so he knows something about political persecution.)

Like you said, very timely film. I think there are enough key Bishops right now that they won’t buckle under against the Obama mandates, but just in case, maybe some might get inspiration from this film.

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”

Blessed Jose Sanches del Rio, pray for us.

Blessed Miguel Pro, pray for us.

Elisa on March 21, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Depends on what kind of “secularism” you mean. Our founding fathers had a benign and positive version of secularism, that was open to the free practice of religion. But history is full of malignant secularists (French Revolution, Communists, etc) that sought to erradicate the practice of religion through force.

If there’s one place where secularism would make the world a better place- outside the Middle East- it’s probably Mexico.

Mexico has perverted Catholicism into numerous pagan rituals, including the worship of death. In Mexico, ‘Saint Death’ is part of a larger drug culture that’s already invading parts of the southern USA and starting to flourish in some Hispanic communities. I don’t think this movie could possibly inspire me given the way religion has been twisted by Mexican history and culture.

bayam on March 21, 2012 at 11:08 PM

With a cast that includes Academy Award nominees Andy Garcia, Peter O’Toole, and Catalina Sandino Moreno as well as Eva Longoria and Oscar Isaac, the film about the Cristero War in Mexico in the late 1920s will be hard to ignore:

Peter O’Toole is not only a nominee, he was awarded an Oscar some years ago. (A Lifetime Achievement Oscar, but an Oscar nonetheless.)

Theophile on March 22, 2012 at 2:29 AM

Depends on how you go about it. If you just sit at home and don’t build models, then it is not a hobby. But if you go out and shut down the hobby shops by force and arresting model builders, then it becomes much more than that.

No, atheism is simply the lack of a belief in a deity or deities.

R. Dawkins would beg to differ, based on that wee confession from a few weeks ago. Atheism is simply the belief in a lack of a deity or deities. Minor word rearrangement that truly describes your religion. Besides, why would you want to lie about your belief system, are you like somehow ashamed of your Nospel?

AH_C on March 22, 2012 at 8:19 AM

hawkdriver: “Can you people please stop pushing progressive social issues and just concentrate on the economy?”

If you think freedom has nothing to do with the economy, you just aren’t paying attention. Look at what 80 years of socialist rule has done for Mexico’s economy. Socialism requires taking away peoples liberty, religous and otherwise.

LakeLevel on March 22, 2012 at 9:19 AM

So if a Muslim says killing Jews is just part of his free exercise of religion (and reading his preferred holy book, he’s right), then it’s Constitutionally protected.

Except homicide is expressly forbidden in civil law.

The notion of free expression of religion does not confine that expression to the privacy of one’s home, church, or mind. It does allow for public displayed of faith and — more specifically — the ability to conduct one’s public life and business in manners aligned with that faith.

To jump immediately from freedom = Muslims get to kill us is 1) childish and 2) stupid.

englishqueen01 on March 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

The death tolls that you reference are indeed petty horrific. But they are a rounding error compared to the massacres that have been done in the name of militant atheism.

Additionally, one has to reach back over several centuries to rack up those numbers. Just like people point to Galileo (long dead) or the Crusades (long over) to “prove” Christian oppression.

The deaths from militant atheism occurred in a century that ended a little over a decade ago. Muslim jihad continues this day.

Comparing the two is like equating apples and kumquats.

englishqueen01 on March 22, 2012 at 1:31 PM

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