Drama of Holiness: Monsieur Vincent (1947) w/ Steven Greydanus
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Film critic and deacon Steven Greydanus joins the show to discuss one of the best movies about a saint ever made, Monsieur Vincent. The film depicts St. Vincent de Paul’s invention of the organized charity we take for granted today, and his struggle to stay personally close to the poor despite the practical need to court the favor of the rich to support his work.
This isn’t a film about a man conflicted about his basic identity or goal in life, nor is does it culminate in the beginning of a conversion—rather, it shows the continual deepening and conversion characteristic of the life of holiness. That is a very rare thing: a compelling drama about a soul already advanced in the spiritual life.
This outstanding piece of narrative filmmaking won the Oscar 1948 for best foreign film, yet it is underappreciated, underseen and underdiscussed; this is the only discussion of the film in English you’ll find on YouTube.
Greydanus suggests that Monsieur Vincent, of all the films on the Vatican’s list, may do the best job of uniting truth, goodness and beauty, and thus in a sense belongs in each of the list’s three categories: Religion, Values, and Art.
Steven Greydanus’s writing at www.DecentFilms.com
Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com/
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