For Greater Glory
Andy Garcia headlines an international cast in the film that may redefine his career . . .
In For Greater Glory, director Dean Wright skillfully tells the story of the Cristeros — the Mexican freedom fighters who rallied to shouts of “Viva Cristo Rey!” or “Long live Christ the King!”
Thousands of Catholics were brutally murdered during the 1926-29 Cristeros War. In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized and beatified 30 saints and martyrs arising from the war. The clash began when the Mexican government attempted to viciously eliminate Catholicism, prompting ordinary folks to fight for religious freedom.
Eduardo Verástegui (Bella), a member of Legatus’ Hollywood Chapter, plays Blessed Anacleto González Flores, a layman martyred during the conflict. He’s joined by Andy Garcia (The Godfather III), Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) and Peter O’Toole.
The epic historical drama is not only visually stunning, but it is possibly Garcia’s finest screen performance. He delivers a tour de force starring as General Enrique Gorostieta, a retired military man who forms a band of freedom fighters into an army that successfully routes the federales who were imposing the government’s harsh anti-Catholic measures. Mauricio Kuri delivers a stunning performance in his English-language debut as Blessed José Sánchez del Río, the 14-year-old martyr who was tortured and murdered for failing to renounce his faith. His violent murder drew sobs from women in the audience at the screening I attended.
This film’s timing is perfect. As the struggle for religious freedom heats up in the U.S., every person of good will must make their voice heard. If not, history could indeed repeat. For Greater Glory is rated R for war violence and disturbing images.