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Ramiro Pellitero, School of Theology, University of Navarra, Spain.


Tue, 22 Mar 2011 09:15:00 +0000 Published in

Cinema often has to face a challenge: to combine real facts with fiction. This also happens in the film "You Will Find Dragons" (R. Joffé, 2011). Its director explained the reason for degree scroll in an interview he gave to the Zenit agency (1 and 6-I-2011): "Medieval maps qualified unknown territories with the words 'Hic sunt dragones', 'here there are dragons'. ' When I started researching topic and writing the script, since I really didn't know what to expect or how it would end, 'You will find dragons' seemed like an appropriate degree scroll ."

Everyone has their dragons, inside and out

The interviewee went on to say that dragons are, for everyone, all the fundamental challenges and dilemmas of existence, the "turning points in our lives where we face decisive choices"; where the difficulty and the need to overcome the temptations of hatred, resentment and violence arise.

Dragons are, in Roland Joffé's words, "the civil wars of our ordinary life". Life can be seen as a series of injustices, rejections and wounds, or as a series of opportunities, of occasions, to overcome these dragons through the powerful desire to replace hatred with love and unity. And St. Josemaría had faith that everyone is capable of slaying his own dragons.

Indeed, isn't it good to detect one's own dragons, also as a prerequisite to help others to uncover theirs? Aren't the temptations to live "as if God did not exist" dragons? Aren't the prejudices that keep us away from others, that prevent us from "making us position" of their circumstances and lock us up in ourselves, dragons? And the tendency to well-being, security and comfort, that makes us go too fast without even looking at those who, next to us, need us, and that makes us go too fast without even looking at those who need us?

Fortunately, sometimes through unsuspected paths, lights are lit and we discover that, along with human frailty, there is also the greatness of the divine. Ultimately, the battle against the dragons is played on the terrain of love.

A film about love, human frailty and divine choices.

This is what also appears in this film, which, in the opinion of its director, speaks of forgiveness and reconciliation, and which "is above all a film about love, about the strength of its presence and about the arid and terrifying world in which we live with its absence".

However," he warns, "love is not always easy, it cannot be easy. It cannot come from an attitude of superiority, it can only come from an attitude of humility and humanity. And yet its beauty is powerful". Love," he continues, "can only be achieved by putting oneself in the other's shoes and forgiving. There is no point in demonizing him in the name of a single ideal of love, since love takes many forms. In the filmmaker's opinion, "only by understanding the tragic fallibility of all human beings and all human behavior can we find the path of understanding and that deep empathy, that sense of identification with the other, which frees us from demonization and the spirals of hopeless violence".

What seems clear to him is that "human beings, in their relationships with one another, make divine choices, choices that profoundly affect the lives of others and the world around them". He adds, "This interconnectedness is the foundation of love: what we do for or against others affects us and them because we are all bound to one another."

That is why he understands that "love is not something fallen from the sky". As human beings "we have to find this deep love in ourselves, understanding the hidden beauty of our fragility and the fragility of others, in a profound sense that illustrates, it seems to me, the story of Christ".

Perception of reality and the fight against dragons

All this, in his view, is consistent with what modern physics discovers: "Our perception of reality is based on models made by our brain and that, therefore, there are numerous models of reality". Although many of them are insufficient to explain everything, "this understanding does not exclude the idea of God or a spiritual dimension of the immense universe in which we dwell"; moreover, "it also offers us an opportunity to reinterpret and redefine the spiritual".

Since the beginning of his pontificate, Benedict XVI has been shining a powerful light as an effective weapon against his own and others' dragons, and as a path to attain full wisdom. It is the heart of the Christian faith and sounds like this: "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him" (1 Jn 4:16). It is what gives unity to the Christian message, and, in final, the only thing that makes it credible. To live the Gospel is, therefore, to live love, even in the midst of dragons.