Release Date: July 20, 2007
Starring: Javier Bardem, Natalie
Portman, Stellan Skarsgard,
Randy Quaid, and Michel
Genre: Biographical Drama
Runtime: 113 minutes
Distributor: The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Director: Milos Forman
Executive Producer: Paul Zaentz
Producer: Saul Zaentz
Writer: Milos Forman and Jean Claude
Address Comments To:Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., Chairman/CEO
Meyer Gottlieb, President
Samuel Goldwyn Films
9570 West Pico Blvd., 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 860-3100
Fax: (310) 860-3195
The movie opens with priests examining some of the famous artist Goya’s gruesome prints. Besides being a brilliant and popular portrait artist, Goya was something of a precursor to political cartoonists. His prints took strong political positions. Brother Lorenzo admits he was having Goya paint his portrait, but to show his dedication to the church he calls for an increase in church efforts to root out heretics.
Ines, a beautiful young woman from a good family (who happens to pose for Goya’s favorite painting) is spotted choosing not to eat pork at a tavern. She is summoned before the Inquisition, accused of being a Judaizer and tortured until she confesses. She is locked naked in a dungeon. With Goya’s help, the girl’s father invites Lorenzo to dinner. He refuses to release the daughter because she confessed. The father insists that Lorenzo sign a confession of heresy. He and his sons then torture the priest until he signs. Lorenzo is told that if he fails to get the daughter released, his confession will be used against him.
The members of the Inquistion refuse to let the daughter go because it would undermine the validity of all forced confessions. Lorenzo visits Ines and, in the process of “praying” with her, rapes her. Lorenzo flees to France to keep from being burned at the stake.
Fifteen years later, Napoleon marches into Spain and Lorenzo returns as a stooge ruler for the French. He frees those kept in the dungeon, including Ines who had Lorenzo’s daughter while in prison. This threatens Lorenzo’s new position of authority as well as the family he wound up having in France. Throughout all the proceedings, Goya repeatedly attempts to help Ines and her family while avoiding a death sentence of his own.
Christians should be willing to admit there were points in church history where evil things happened. The Bible repeatedly tells how the Jews disobeyed God and then repented. The church, made up of flawed human beings, is not perfect today. There are ample horror stories that can be told, but for all the evil, the church is largely responsible for whatever civility we enjoy in the United States today. GOYA’S GHOSTS dwells on a horrible period in Spanish and French history. The movie is absolutely gut wrenching, but it is not redemptive.
MOVIEGUIDE® finds GOYA’S GHOSTS to be excessive. The violence, nudity and depravity (including depravity of the church) fails to be redemptive. As Christians, we are commanded to think on good things. There is value in learning from mistakes but there is little value in just wallowing in them.
Christians should be willing to admit there were points in church history where evil happened. The Bible repeatedly tells how the Jews disobeyed God and then repented. The church, made up of flawed human beings, is not perfect. There are ample horror stories that can be told, but for all the evil, the church is largely responsible for whatever civility we enjoy in the world today. GOYA’S GHOSTS dwells on a horrible period in Spanish and French history. The movie is absolutely gut wrenching, but the depiction of violence, nudity and depravity (including depravity of the church) fails to be redemptive. GOYA’S GHOSTS is an excessive movie because of this.