Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Review: Fishers of Men

Fishers of Men, DVD, www.grassrootsfilms.com, 2005

Do you have a son who is open to the vocation of the priesthood? He doesn’t have to be college age to become totally absorbed in this outstanding documentary-drama Fishers of Men. In fact, just about all ages from our homeschool group, with the exception of toddlers and preschoolers, previewed this film.

Created with the young person in mind, the visuals are bold, colorful, and dramatic with contemporary music that is at one moment gripping and intense and the next contemplative and soul searching. From the opening moments the viewer is immersed in a multi-layered story with visuals that guide the viewer from one scene to the next.

At one moment we see men flexing their muscles as they haul in huge, heavy fishing nets. Next we see a disciple on a lonely wind swept beach teaching a young man. We move on to another scene where Christ is shrouded in darkness at the Last Supper, sharing the Eucharist. Then we witness a priest candidly relating his call to the priesthood.

The visuals are always on the move, but the message remains the same. The priest is the face of Christ in the world. Therein lies the real strength of this film. Its powerful message is that the priesthood is a calling from God to those who want to do something remarkable for God.

Over and over again the film challenges the viewer with dramatic images to consider the role of the priesthood. What does he do? He is called to serve. He serves us at some of the most significant moments of our lives. He baptizes babies, celebrates mass, presides at weddings, blesses those who have died, hears confessions, and offers absolution to those who are dying. Priests serve as chaplains in the military, visit the elderly in nursing homes, offer consolation and confession to those in prison, and greet people after mass. We live a sacramental life. Where would we be without priests?

Living in a dazzling, noisy world that seeks to lure us away from Christ, this film also shows the stark contrast between the world we live in and the call to holiness, reminding us that the priest “administers the mysteries of God” to us.

We see a broad range of men from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds expressing their love, joy, and enthusiasm for the priesthood. Called by God, out of love, they are willing to enter a life of sacrifice. They challenge young men to consider the priesthood. “The priesthood is tough. It is for real men. You have to be a real man if you want to become a priest.”

Although the target audience for this film is young men considering the priesthood, every Catholic would benefit from seeing this film, because they would have a greater understanding and appreciation of the role and mission of the priest.

A powerful film, Fishers of Men immerses our senses in the reality that we so easily forget that the priest is called to lay down his life as Jesus did. This inspiring film will amaze, refresh, and renew your love for your Catholic faith.

Because of one particularly heart wrenching reenactment, this movie may not be appropriate for very young children. Parental discretion for very, young sensitive children should be considered.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Yank 8/07/2007

Available from Nineveh’s Crossing.


Christine said...

I've been wondering about this film. Thank you for the review.

Joyful Catholics said...

I saw this at our Catholic book/gift store, Gloria Deo when it first came out. I was mesmerized. It is a VERY POWERFUL 15 minutes or so! All I can say is, after hearing a friend of mine, a dear priest in Wisconsin, tell me of his days and all that he has to do, people to see, places to go, the sick to anoint, the complainers to deal with (while biting his tongue...for he IS human, too!) the amount of stuff that made up his life in ONE Sunday was more than I ever face in a year! They do need our prayers, for they do spend and consume themselves for us, for our souls! Should I ever hear someone complain about or criticize a priest again, I will have to say something, in Christian charity, after first biting my tongue!