Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith and media: To Sir with Love meets Northern Exposure. That plot from one of my all-time favorite films mixed with a dash of a classic TV show sort of describes the plot to The Grizzlies (opening wide in theaters next month). Except The Grizzlies is based on […]
From my in-box:
A modern-day ecclesiastical thriller, THE APPARITION is a startlingly original contemporary drama about faith and spirituality. Written and directed by lauded French filmmaker Xavier Giannoli (Marguerite, In The Beginning), THE APPARITION follows a respected journalist whose belief system is profoundly shaken when he’s recruited by the Vatican to investigate an apparition of the Virgin Mary, witnessed by a similarly beguiling young woman.
César Award-winning actor Vincent Lindon stars as Jacques Mayano, a writer with a large regional newspaper in France who is tapped by the Vatican to lead a committee to explore the legitimacy of saintly apparitions in a small French village. Traveling to the village for this canonical investigation, he meets the young and sensitive Anna (Galatéa Bellugi), who claims to have witnessed a vision of the Virgin Mary. Though she has gained a captive audience following her declaration, Anna is torn between her faith and the many solicitations she receives. Confronted with opposing views from clergy members and skeptics, Jacques finds his own ideologies and values challenged as he works to uncover the hidden mysteries, motivations, and pressures surrounding Anna’s vision.
Writer-director Xavier Giannoli, having read an article on “canonical investigations” into allegedly supernatural events such as miraculous healings or apparitions, was thus inspired to make THE APPARITION. One of the first insights he gleaned during his pre-production research was that the church’s investigative commissions didn’t solely involve religious people.
“I wanted to [approach the subject] without bias or dogmatism, from the point of view of an ordinary person, not a philosopher or a theologian (which I’m not), but of a filmmaker with a desire for human truth,” he said. “That’s how I had the idea of this journalist character not being holier-than-thou or a cynical atheist—just a free man who wants to sort out what is true and what isn’t. I needed to re-appropriate these issues far from the clichés of the media’s portrayal, debates on the clash of civilizations, the return of religion and the fundamentalist extremism, or the Church and its scandals.”
Following screenings at international festivals in Moscow, Edinburgh, and Lisbon, among others, as well as a release in the nation’s top theatrical markets, THE APPARITION will be available on DVD and VOD (iTunes, Amazon Instant, FandangoNow, Vudu, GooglePlay and YouTube) for the first time on January 22, 2019 (prebook December 18, 2018). The DVD, which includes interviews with director Xavier Giannoli and the cast among its bonus features, carries a suggested retail price of $29.95.
Featuring outstanding performances by stars Vincent Lindon and Galatéa Bellugi, and stunning photography by ace cinematographer Eric Gautier (On the Road, The Motorcycle Diaries), Xavier Giannoli’s THE APPARITION is a remarkable humanist exploration that sees the world through the eyes of its conflicted protagonists and taps into the faith that lies within us all.
Here is what Catholics are saying about THE APPARITION:
“‘The Apparition’ is a gripping and sobering look at the Catholic Church’s process of investigation and validation of an alleged supernatural occurrence and the emotions, complications and perils surrounding such an event.” – Michael O’Neill, host of “The Miracle Hunter” on Relevant Radio and “They Might Be Saints” on EWTN, author of “Exploring the Miraculous” and expert on Marian apparitions.
“A gripping plot, masterful performances and a stunning revelation combine to make ‘The Apparition’ a fantastic viewing experience.” – Lisa M. Hendey, founder of CatholicMom.com
“A riveting reflection on the incredible grace of the ordinary in the midst of extraordinary supernatural experience and how faith is a gift offered to those who seek understanding with sincere hearts.” – Sr. Nancy Usselmann, FSP, Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies