Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Film: "Teología de la Liberación. La Iglesia de los Pobres en el siglo XXI"

With the deaths this month of two great figures in liberation theology -- Maryknoll Fr. Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann and Belgian priest and sociologist François Houtart -- one becomes aware of the gradual dwindling of the first generation of this movement that is now enjoying a revival under Pope Francis.

So it is not surprising that there is a renewed interest in this 2014 documentary about liberation theology that Madrid born filmmaker Andrés Luque Pérez made for Spain's TV2.

Filmed mainly in Brazil, Peru, and El Salvador, the documentary provides an excellent introduction to the subject of liberation theology, including much historical footage such as John Paul II's public reprimand of Ernesto Cardenal and scenes from Archbishop Oscar Romero's death.

After a broad historical retrospective on liberation theology, the film moves to segments on the key sub-issues that theology addresses: the poor, the environment, landless peasants, indigenous populations, women, globalization. One can't help but wish the film had been made a little later when surely there would have been material on Pope Francis and an added segment on migrants and refugees.

The film features many of the great figures of liberation theology including Jon Sobrino, Leonardo Boff, Sergio Torres, Gustavo Gutierrez, Rafael de Sivate, Ignacio Ellacuria, Pedro Casaldáliga, Pablo López Blanco, Fray Betto, Leonardo Lego, and Juan José Tamayo. As one watches it, it's impossible not to feel nostalgic knowing that some like Ignacio Ellacuria are no longer among us, and others like Pedro Casaldáliga are still alive but too disabled by illness to participate in such a project today. One is thankful that Pérez has captured and compiled their testimony.

Watch the film (approx. 44 min, in Spanish/en Español):

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