Strange feelings on seeing the film “Colombiana”, now on cinemas in the United Kingdom.
You see a lot of Catholic symbols; crosses, rosaries, even a mantilla. There is even a catholic Mass, but I stupidly forgot whether the celebrating priest was ad orientem (the fact is, it is so normal to me that if it was I have probably failed to register it as unusual).
Unfortunately, these crosses and rosaries, and even mantillas are worn by what are undoubtedly the wrong people; particularly the rosary, with which a gangster ostentatiously plays at the beginning of the movie. Perhaps the ideology behind that is that “baddies wear crosses and have rosaries”, but this would be rather stupid as no one can say the baddies are the only one to wear them; perhaps the intention was to show the diffuse reliance on Christian values within the Colombian society; or perhaps it is just – and I say this only as a passing thought – that the slow recovery of Catholic customs in the Catholic world (you only need to go to the shop of the Westminster Cathedral to find a dozen of different rosaries on sale; on Ebay the choice is endless; I do think some things are changing here) is slowly being registered outside of it and the rich world of Catholic symbolism starts to catch the imagination of the world again. This would seem, by the way, reinforced from the post I wrote just a couple of days ago about the 10 hour documentary about the Church.
It can, of course, always be that the crosses and rosary have been shown to mock the Catholic faith, seen as the religion of choice of bloody, evil people. But this would not be a very clever strategy for a secularist or an atheist, as the Cross and the rosary are very powerful instruments, and the idea that they wouldn’t impress the one or other cinema goer in a sense opposite to the one intended a very naive one.
Be it as it may, I am surely not the only one noticing the heavy reference to Catholicism in the movie, and the rather strange context in which they are made. But if you put crosses and rosaries on the big screen, this can’t be bad.