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For quite some time now I have periodically posted DVD picks about little heard of films that are then released on DVD , but now with the burgeoning world of online access to movies, I may have start posting an online movie pick now and then. To prove my point, there is a great website, Snag Films, that has numerous excellent documentaries you can watch for free. These are documentaries that have not necessarily made it on to DVD or have played in the occasional film festival. Each month two documentaries are featured and this month it is the documentary “Father Roy: Inside of the School of Assassins.”
Father Roy Bourgeoisis a former naval officer who became a priest and eventually became a missionary on a crusade against a training camp on U.S. soil nicknamed the School of Assassins. The School of the Americas is the official title of a camp in Fort Benning, Georgia that gives combat and counter insurgency training to members of many militia groups from Latin American countries.


The documentary traces Father Roy’s involvement in protesting the work of the School of Americas because of the connection between it and the turmoil in El Salvador in the 1980s. Father Roy initially becomes aware of the school because of alleged links that former trainees from the school had with the murders of Bishop Romero and the massacre of a group of Jesuit priests and several nuns. Father Roy’s stages peaceful protests that land him in jail but also bring attention to the cause. Father Roy gains some political support but the school continues on, though Father Roy continues his actions against this program to this day.
The documentary does make at least some effort to show the opposing view and has footage of U.S. government claims that the school teaches human rights and democratic values. It also interviews former teachers and military soldiers who tell a very different story. But as informative and eye-opening as this movie is, “Father Roy” is perhaps more impressive for it’s a portrait of a gentle yet determined faith lived out with largely unnoticed sacrifices. Father Roy reminds me of the need for a faith that has less razzle-dazzle and more unassuming humility and substance.
Even if “Father Roy” doesn’t appeal to you, Snag Films certainly has a wide variety of other movies in its archives, so movie buffs should make the website a regular stop as they surf the Net.

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