I come to this debate late having only just viewed the video. I also confess to lack of serious enthusiasm for this genre. I find them mildly entertaining but never thought-provoking, apart from wondering later "I wonder how they achieved THAT special effect." "Stigmata" is in a class of its own - apart from the excellent script, effects, shots pulled and editing. But apart from commendable technical excellence I thought its profundity made its predecessors appear superficial. This may well be due to its touching my own faith - some might say lack of it. I attend church most infrequently, thrill to much religiously-inspired classical music and wonder at the spectacle of Cathedrals the world over. Yet I see the Church in whatever guise, as a massive administration used over the centuries as a weapon of control while it sought power and influence, accumulated wealth - and committed thousands to the sword and flame. The theme of "Stigmata" was that God is within and around us - not built into buildings of wood and stone. It put into a phrase what I have always believed to be true. Each of us is an amalgam of good and evil, our "good" side continually striving to subvert the "bad". Is this what R.L.Stephenson might have been suggesting with "Doctor Jekylll and Mr Hyde"? Two within one. We have seen throughout history the way the individual's concept of what is "good and right" paradoxically permits him to carry out evil or disagreeable acts in the belief that the aim is a worthy one. I hardly need elaborate on this. The "flower children" of the 1960's had an enviable aim. A perfect world could be achieved through people simply being "good and kind". Unhappily it is a flawed philosophy since they failed to take into account that within each follower lurked the darker side. Psychologists are well acquainted with "libido" and "mortido". Most people find an outlet for their libido. But what of the other? The whole secret of life is to find a creative way of harnessing the destructive energies in an acceptable and creative manner! (Even the crop-dusting pilot is an example of this. His creativeness is his skill as a pilot, yet simultaneously he spreads death to millions of parasites for the benefit of his fellow beings. He may not be aware of this himself, of course. So yes - The "spirit" is within and around. The other, less acceptable message to the truly "religious" is that the Church, always fearing any erosion of its power never wishes to have its own righteousness questioned. Why were we not given freedom to study all the Dead Sea Scrolls? We also have evidence from archaeologists that Mary Magdalen bequeathed her scrolls to the world, and we also know that when Peter initially returned to his trade as fisherman after the crucifixion, the entire movement would have died had it not been for Mary's persistence and efforts. But the early church could never for a moment acknowledge its debt to a mere WOMAN! The females have always been written out of most faiths, or confined to minor roles. Perhaps the Roman Catholiic Church felt sufficiently guilty to allow her limited honour - but only as being the mother of Jesus.
"Stigmata" was a reminder to us all that - and that women are as much a part of religion and history as we males.
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