Pope Francis encourages filmmakers to ‘reawaken wonder’

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Catholic News Agency


A good movie has the power to inspire wonder and to evangelize by reflecting the beauty of God’s creation, Pope Francis told filmmakers at the Vatican on Monday.

“Dear friends, the world troubled by war and so many evils needs signs, works that inspire wonder and that reveal the wondrousness of God who never ceases to love his creatures and to be amazed by their beauty,” Pope Francis said in a message to an Italian film foundation Feb. 20.

“In an increasingly artificial world, where man has surrounded himself with the works of his own hands, the great risk is to lose a sense of wonder. I share this reflection with you, entrusting you with the task to reawaken wonder.”

In an audience at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, the pope met with members of Fondazione Ente dello Spettacolo, a film foundation established by the Italian bishops’ conference in 1947 to promote Christian values in entertainment.

For more than 75 years, the foundation has supported filmmakers through education, workshops, reviews, and film festivals.

Pope Francis gave a short off-the-cuff speech to the group about how creating a film that is a “work of beauty” can be “a great expression of God.”

“Beauty is that work of the Holy Spirit which creates harmony out of everything,” he said, according to a Catholic News Agency report.

The pope also distributed a written message to the foundation members in which he described how God, after creating the sky, the earth, the stars, and all living things, became “a spectator of his work” after his creative actions.

“He contemplates what he has created and expresses his judgment: He ‘saw that it was good,’” Pope Francis said, quoting the Book of Genesis.

“In this sacred page, dear friends, directors, actors, women and men who work in cinema, we can also find the meaning of your cultural work,” he said.