englishespagñolfrançais
Cinema
print the article


Related articles
  1. “Movie Moments of Grace” Explained at Catholic Media Conference
  2. The 100 greatest films of the 21st Century
  3. Maren Ade’s "Toni Erdmann" Wins FIPRESCI Grand Prix 2016
  4. Indian nun writes script for Malayalam cinema
  5. St Peter’s and the Papal Basilicas of Rome 3D: An amazing film production
  6. 80th anniversary of Vigilanti Cura and OCIC
  7. "Ignacio de Loyola" advanced screening in the Vatican
  8. Catholics and cinema in Italy: An international perspective
  9. Documentary Filmmaking Practices in Africa : an International Conference
  10. Mombasa Archbishop applauds the role of film-makers in educating society.
  11. The 12th Asian Women’s Film Festival
  12. New production company to tackle Hollywood gender gap
  13. Spotlight is not an anti-catholic film
  14. The Oscars 2016: addressing important issues
  15. New documentary on life of Sr Dorothy Stang
  16. Marathi Jesus of Nazareth Online
  17. Leela Santhosh, a tribal woman film director
  18. Frames of poverty and social class inequality in children’s movies
  19. In 2015 more spectators in Europe’s cinemas
  20. Call for papers for the conference "Catholics and cinema in Italy between the 40s and the 70s "
  21. ‘Pope won’t ‘play himself’ in upcoming film
  22. Ave Maria - Palestinian short film nominated for Oscar
  23. SIGNIS Sri Lanka film appreciation seminar
  24. Documentary film: ’All You Need Is Love’
  25. Video takes Laudato Si’ to the people
  26. Film on displaced tribal people named ’Best Film’
  27. SIGNIS statement - Spotlight
  28. SIGNIS Statement on The Letters
  29. The LAFF launches a new african film student competition
  30. Rome’s homeless form audience for Vatican premiere of film about Pope Francis
  31. Indian film and its role in promoting a culture of peace
  32. American Bishop on Spotlight: praise for the media
  33. Latest James Bond film confronted with the Indian censor
  34. Interview with David Oelhoffen, director of Far From Men
  35. “Joy and hope, grief and anxiety”: a short film project of the German Bishops’ Conference.
  36. World Toilet Day: the importance of promoting sanitation via films
  37. “Fr. Gaetano Nicosia. The Angel of the Lepers”. A documentary movie
  38. ’India’s Daughter’ brings gender inequality, violence against women into sharp focus
  39. 24 writers and filmmakers return national awards
  40. Young CAFOD supporters show their climate change films to MPs
  41. Georges Khabbaz’ new film ‘Waynon’ to represent Lebanon at the Oscars
  42. Stations of the Cross chosen for the Italian Critics’ Award
  43. Are horror films C(c)atholic?
  44. Muhammad: The Messenger of God on Iranian cinema screens
  45. Insight Student Filmmaker Award 2015
  46. The south-Korean cinema - Office by Hong Won-Chan
  47. Participate in the Showing Film Award’s V Edition
  48. "Healing" Named ‘Australian Film of the Year’ by the Catholic Film Office
  49. "The Vatican Museums 3D": Experience the Greatest Art Collection in History
  50. "The Railway Man" Named ‘Film of the Year’ by the Australian Catholic Film Office
  51. The Iñigo Film Festival Awards Short Films at WYD Rio 2013
  52. SIGNIS Co-Sponsor of International Conference on Jesus Films in Poland
  53. SIGNIS Workshop Trains a New Generation of Jurors in Lyon
  54. Ken Loach Receives the Robert Bresson Award 2012
  55. SIGNIS Workshop for a New Generation of Jurors in Lyon
  56. Cinema, Religion and Politics in the Air
  57. New Egyptian Cinema: the Presence of Religion
  58. Exchanging One Habit for Another: "A Nun’s New Habit" Screened at Cahayasuara
  59. Angelus Winner Nominated For Academy Award
  60. A New Generation of Filipino Filmmakers: Mark Meily Awarded at the Brussels Independent Film Festival
  61. Faith Shorts
  62. "Samson & Delilah" Named Australian Film of the Year by the Catholic Film Office for 2009
  63. Priests Honoured at 56th Indian National Film Awards
  64. SIGNIS Award Winning Film Chosen as Best Film in Asian Pacific Film Festival 2009
  65. "Yarwng", a Salesian Priest’s Award Winning Film
  66. The Face of the Other (Den Andres Ansikt) in Oslo
  67. Angelus Announces 2009 Festival Winners
  68. Religion and Film in Armenia (1911-2009): From the Arrival of Cinema to the Establishment of the Ecumenical Jury
  69. Images of the Afterlife in Theology and Film
  70. "Slumdog Millionnaire" - A Brief Note
  71. H2Onews: Vatican Applause for “Slumdog Millionaire” Oscar
  72. "The Black Balloon" Named Australian Film of the Year by the Catholic Film Office for 2008
  73. Film Workshop "Cinema: Going Beyond the Barriers" in Prague
  74. First SIGNIS East Asia Film Seminar 2008: "Depiction of Core Family Values in East Asian Movies"
  75. Classic Film about the Life and Work of St Vincent de Paul Re-released
  76. Meeting Daniel Burman
  77. The Bresson Prize for Daniel Burman
  78. The Life of St.Thomas on Celluloid soon in India
  79. Egoyan’s "Adoration" Wins Ecumenical Prize in Cannes 2008
  80. SIGNIS Film Seminar to Give a “Face for the Faceless”
  81. Australian Catholic Film Office Names "The Jammed" Best Film of 2007
  82. Ken Loach to Speak at Homeless Movie Club in London
  83. ’Evening of Angelus’ returns to Sundance Film Festival
  84. Church and Film: 90 Years of History in Brazil
  85. Peacemaking in the World of Film
  86. "Ten Canoes" Named Australian Film of the Year by the Catholic Film Office for 2006
  87. Interreligious Screening of "Bamako" in the UK
  88. Alter-Ciné Foundation Documentary Film Grants 2007
  89. U.S. Bishops Choose Top 10 Films for 2006
  90. "Grbavica" Wins John Templeton Award 2006
  91. Vatican to Host World Premiere of "The Nativity Story"
  92. SIGNIS-Romania’s “Facing Children”: a Film Festival for Child Rights
  93. Angelus Student Film Festival selects 26 finalists
  94. Indian Catholic church makes Bollywood film on AIDS
  95. ’Evening of Angelus’ draws 400 people in Sundance
  96. Look Both Ways named Australian Film of the Year by Australian Catholic Film Office
  97. US Bishops’ Film Office Chooses Top 10 Films of 2005
  98. ’L’enfant’ Wins 2005 Templeton European Film of the Year Award

80th anniversary of Vigilanti Cura and OCIC

Brussels, June 28, 2016 (Guido Convents) On June 29, 1936 the first encyclical letter on cinema was published by Pope Pius XI. It was a significant one and it opted also for certain political positions. It had an important influence on Hollywood’s film production for the next three decades. This in a country, the United States, where only about 18% of the population was Catholic. It also showed the Vatican policy towards the International Catholic Office for Cinema (OCIC): openly friendly but at the same time behind the Vatican Walls policies were set up to finish with this kind of a committed lay apostolate in cinema.

Although the Pope had showed in a letter to OCIC president Brohée an interest and even supported his lay apostolate in cinema openly in 1934, he didn’t make almost no references to OCICs work and views on cinema in his Encyclical Vigilanti Cura (1936). The Pope had prefered to ask the American Bishops for advice and he had opted for the vision of the Legion of Decency towards cinema, which meant mainly considering film as a danger and an evil.

At the Milan conference on Cinema and Catholics in Italy which was held early June 2016, the Italian historian Gianluca della Maggiore highlighted in detail how American bishops were involved in the writing of the Encyclical letter. He revealed also for the first time the role of the German Jesuit Friederich Mückermann. Mückermann had strong links with OCIC but his interventions to give OCIC and the Catholic Action in cinema a voice were ostensibly not heard or even not considered. He apparently brought in the element of the danger of authoritarian states like Germany who used the cinema to propagate anti-catholic values. In these years the Vatican didn’t trust OCIC, although this lay organization was headed by two priests. In adopting the American Bishop’s policy on cinema, the Vatican wanted to submit this also as a universal view to the Catholics worldwide.

The American Bishop’s had with the Legion of Decency an influence on Hollywood and Hollywood’s cinema was seen worldwide. OCIC had a different philosophy, which was diversity and using cinema as a positive medium in the evangelisation. In every country, the national office and member of OCIC was embedded in a local culture which determinate also the moral appreciation of films. It considered the Catholic cinemagoer as someone who could make choices, when well informed. This meant it had to develop the work of moral film appreciation, criticism and journalism , WIth the information of the national Catholic film association the cinemagoer had to be able to decide for himself which film he wanted to see. In writing and promoting the “good” films – artistically and morally- in a professional way, OCIC and its national members wanted also to influence the distribution of films.

For the Vatican the policy and philosophy of OCIC was not clear (the moral appreciation for the same film in i.e. Germany could differ with the one in France).It was different from its own policy towards cinema, which was based on a top down policy.. In the Vatican it was Mgr Giuseppe Pizzardo in the secretary of State and linked to the Catholic Action, who did everything in the years 1934-1937 to make an end of OCIC. He almost succeeded but he couldn’t execute his plans because he was appointed in December 1937 Cardinal and got another function in the Vatican.

With Vigilanti Cura, Pope Pius XI was opting for a dual policy: the first was the American one which was for those countries in which Church and state were separated. This meant that the bishops could put pressure on the film industry via their moral codes. In this way they hoped to influence the number of cinemagoers who would go to the films. The second one was more directed to authoritarian fascists countries like Italy - and later Spain where the encyclical letter turned out into a kind of cleric-fascist love story, remarked Michel Lagrée in her article L’Encyclique Vigilanti Cura sur le cinema (1936) published in Rome in 1996.

And OCIC in this story! It had to struggle for the next twenty years (1934-1954) to be appreciated by the Vatican. Although there was the pressure of the Legion of Decency OCIC did continue to believe that education towards film and film literacy was indispensable!

The Belgian researchers Dr Leen Engelen and Lieven Boesen, who are studying these days the OCIC archives at the KADOC, explained that the Vatican wish to finish with OCIC was still present in the beginnings of the 1950s. After the war, Mgr Ferdinando Prosperini was the representative of Italy in OCIC and became even its vice president, He changed his policy completely of supporting OCIC, the moment he was appointed secretary of the newly founded Commissione Pontificia per la Cinematografia Didattica Religiosa! Without the approval of the board of OCIC he did nominate himself as member of this commission representing OCIC.

The Commissione Pontificia per la Cinematografia Didattica Religiosa had an action plan and a mission which was such that it could be seen as the Vatican way to replace or to neutralize OCIC. Only by negotiations with the Vatican in which OCIC members as Andrei Ruszkowski played a role, the attitude of this commission could be changed. At the same time OCIC announced also that it intended to establish a Missionary secretariat in the Vatican so that there would be a presence of OCIC at the Vatican.
From the mid 1950s the Vatican did accept the way OCIC considered its cinema apostolate. It became also for Rome obvious that OCIC was able to respond better to the cultural changes in the Catholic World world wide than the Legion of Deceny.

SIGNIS

print the article