Dean Wright, Director
By Julie Rattey
What price would you pay for freedom? In “For Greater Glory” (releasing June 1) which tells the story of the real-life martyrs and heroes of the 1920s Cristero War, which arose in response to government oppression of Catholicism in Mexico, each of the characters must answer this question. This April, actors from the film, along with director Dean Wright, met with media outlets including Catholic Digest to discuss the film and, in many cases, their personal Catholic faith. The questions are from Catholic Digest and other media outlets. Please note that the content contains some spoilers.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Dean Wright has a prestigious career in Hollywood working in visual effects on films such as Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This is his directorial debut.
The martyrdom of José was quite evocative of Christ’s. Was that purposeful?
Well, movies are a great tool for not just for communicating story or inspiring people with individual feats of courage or sacrifice; they’re also a great way to visually move an audience, and we tried to do it a number of ways.
Specifically to your question, the character of José was brutalized in a way that we only hint at in the film. Shooting it in the way we did was absolutely a way of showing his step of following the path that Christ took, because that’s what he knew he needed to do. It certainly was deliberate; hopefully not overly obvious. It’s what he did; it’s also a metaphor for what inspired him to do it.
Why was it important for the movie to intertwine the stories of José and Gorostieta?
Andy’s character, Gorostieta, he wasn’t willing to fight the fight for the Church, that’s not why he went (to war), but his family told me specifically he believed in religious freedom, and that’s what he went to go fight for. Also, it’s not unfair to say, he was a glorious general and had incredible victories, and here he was working in this soap factory and feeling his best days were behind him. He also was looking for that meaning in his life that he’d thought he lost, right? And so he goes out to search for that on the battlefield, and is hit in the head by this boy and this purity of faith that this boy has.
For Gorostieta, it takes him to the depths of his soul, and (when José is captured and killed) he’s angry at God, and he yells at God, and he’s furious, and at the end he realizes he has to give up, he has to give himself over to God. And he gets this peace, and he knows he needs to lead his men to safety, and he’ll probably not make it, but it doesn’t matter because he realizes what he was looking for he had all along. CD