The Archbishop Lefevbre - A Bishop for the Church movie which has been seen in venues throughout the country and around the world was shown yesterday in Portland, Oregon. Some members of my family were able to see it, and my brother Rory was kind enough to offer the following review:
I think we had a little over a hundred folks at our venue, almost half the parish.
It was good. The enthusiasm with which the DVDs were purchased shows that it was a success. Those with some background in the biographies and Mgr. Lefebvre's books need to remember that the purpose wasn't to replace the books, but to make Abp. Lefebvre come alive a little bit to a new generation of Traditionalists either entering adulthood, or having recently come to Tradition without a living memory of the situation twenty years ago and more.
I am always critical of dubbing. Thankfully they never dubbed Abp. Lefebvre. It just seems like you miss a lot when somebody is talking over the person. Yes, you get the correct translation, but you miss other ways we communicate audibly that seem important as well. There was one short spot where Cardinal Ottaviani seemed animated and I really wanted the "overvoice" to quiet down.
Anyway, that is really my only complaint. The theater was accommodating and really terrific. They greeted us immediately as we by-passed the ticket booth and showed us to the event, making a nice sign with the name of our church on it so that parishioners would see where to go. It was pretty neat to see above the door for our screen, "Archbishop Lefebvre" in lights.
If there were any guests in the audience I missed them. It all happened so quickly that we really didn't have opportunity to promote the event. Everyone seemed very satisfied and I have to include myself. The time went by quickly.
Its hard to say what our Novus Ordo friends and relatives will think. The subject matter is very close to our hearts and so to see a movie in a theater about it is pretty energizing. It seems like at bare minimum, a fair viewing would dispel some misconceptions about stubbornness. There are pictures and video of his time in Africa which demonstrate how the Archbishop allowed African culture to inform the native worship within a Traditional framework. It seemed quite progressive to me, in a way of which it seems no one could disapprove. I think the film shows that Mgr. Lefebvre was clearly unwilling to bend an article of faith. But his firm courage was gentle and thoughtful without the angry zeal that is the occasional scourge of Tradionalists.
There are more scheduled screenings of this film. Check the list of planned screenings here for upcoming dates and locations. The movie will also be available for all on DVD on December 1--just in time for Christmas!--and may be pre-ordered now at Angelus Press.
God bless you!