Spiritually Significant Film

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Romero (1989)

This docudrama about El Salvador’s Archbishop Oscar Romero gunned down as he celebrated Mass in 1980 is hard to watch. The film’s director was relentless in depicting the violence wrought upon El Salvador’s poor and those who would defend them during the 1970’s. Aid coming from the USA was used for weapons rather than development.

Romero was an aristocrat, trained in Europe, who, upon becoming an archbishop, seemed out of touch with the common people. Things begin to change when he resists a wealthy couple’s attempt to keep their child from being baptized in the same ceremony with local Indian children. Romero converts from a pastor of the rich to a Christ figure who leads his people on a path of gospel love and justice. The violent death of his priest friend Father Grande and of his innocent companions is a foretaste of what awaits the Archbishop. Raul Julio’s portrayal is both convincing and moving. Romero’s compassion, prayerfulness and courage come across with a power all their own.

Summary by Mary P. Martin, fsp

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Directed by John Duigan
102 minutes
Primary language(s): English