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A FATHER’S HEART

"Catholic Perspective on the Story of Joseph"

What You Need To Know:

A FATHER’S HEART is a Christian documentary in a limited theatrical release from a Roman Catholic perspective. It highlights the miraculous works of Saint Joseph, Jesus Christ’s earthly father, and contains interviews with priests and other people who say Joseph has revived their faith and touched their lives miraculously. The movie spans across several places around the world, including France, Spain, Italy, Canada, and the United States.

A FATHER’S HEART moves slowly, but the people’s testimonies are uplifting and make viewers feel inspired to want to hear from Jesus too. The cinematography is vibrant as it highlights many places around the world where people have encountered Saint Joseph. Christians will enjoy the architecture of the cathedrals highlighted as well. A FATHER’S HEART has an overt Christian worldview, but some of the comments in the movie reflect some false or aberrant theological views. For example, people refer to prayers as “wishes.” This kind of demotes God and Jesus’ status to a mere genie in a bottle who grants “wishes.” A FATHER’S HEART has a reference to pornography that’s about living in a “lust-filled” society.

Content:

(CCC, FR, S, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Christian worldview from a Roman Catholic perspective as documentary journeys to the places where Saint Joseph has appeared, with secondary false or aberrant elements where the people interviewed share some theological views that other Christians may think contradict Holy Scripture or don’t fit its theology

Foul Language:
No foul language

Violence:
No violence

Sex:
Light sexual content where there’s one description of pornography and living in a lust-driven society

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol use

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; Miscellaneous immorality: Light miscellaneous immorality includes some dysfunctional family systems and bad role models, but implicitly or explicitly rebuked.

More Detail:

A FATHER’S HEART is a documentary in limited release about the life of Joseph, Jesus Christ’s earthly father.

The movie takes a trip around the world to find out more about Joseph. The first stop is Cotignac, France, where in the Middle Ages, a hundred years apart, people saw the Virgin Mary appear with the Baby Jesus and then Joseph with them. One story says that, that on June 7, 1660, a shepherd named Gaspard who was thirsty and desperate for water, sees a man sitting by a tree. The man says, “I am Joseph. Move the rock, and you shall drink.” Cotignac attracts many visitors each year who believe these stories and take a pilgrimage to follow the same footsteps as Joseph.

Pierre and Isabelle Chazerans, the pilgrimage organizers, assert that, because so many people are coming year after year to participate in the pilgrimage, the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph want this pilgrimage to take place. Pierre and Isabelle also believe people come on these pilgrimages to pray to Saint Joseph and drink from the miraculous water fountain that honors the story about the shepherd.

The documentary visits the monastery of Saint Joseph, run by the nuns of the Mater Dei Institute. Tristan Boj, a construction worker who comes from an atheist background, testifies after the death of one of his children, went on this pilgrimage. On his knees before the statue of Saint Joseph, he felt a call and surrendered his life to Jesus.

Next, the movie highlights Xavier Bartimeus, a sculptor, who was raised in the Catholic Church, but rebelled and walked away from his faith when he was 14-years-old. Through Saint Joseph, however, he renewed his faith in God and now creates sculptures to bring people closer to understanding God better. Another nun, Paloma Garcia de San Jose, Superior of the Mothers of the Helpless, tells the story of Mother Petra from her monastery who felt called to create a home for orphan children and a shrine to Saint Joseph. People write letters to Saint Joseph and put it in a box at the shrine, hoping he will grant their “wishes.”

The filmmakers then visit Tuscany, Italy to the San Poala Monastery where the religious family of the Incarnate reside. In the monastery in 1871, there was a nun who fell ill, and asked Saint Joseph to heal her. This nun believes Saint Joseph, one night, sat by her side, and said, “Be confident in God,” and was instantly cured. Pierre Dumoulin, theology professor in Marseilles, France, established seminaries and theology institutes in many places both in and out of the United States. They received government permission for him and a young man to rebuild an old church on top of a hill. As Pierre prayed, he believed there would be a new church there on that hill with a monastery with nuns who pray. Several years later, his vision became a reality.

The Catholic Church has declared Saint Joseph the “terror of demons.” A priest explains that because Joseph’s heart was pure, he has power. The priest exhorts viewers that, if more men were pure, they would have a better defense against the enemy. The priest also says, if they pray to Saint Joseph, who is the earthly father of Jesus, Jesus will do anything them because He loves Joseph. The movie ends saying Saint Joseph had a joyful death because he had Mary and Jesus by his side. Interviewees say they want to be like Joseph and have his faith. They also say Joseph is paving the way for Jesus Christ’s reign.

A FATHER’S HEART moves slowly, but the people’s testimonies are uplifting and make viewers feel inspired to want to hear from Jesus too. The cinematography is vibrant as it highlights many places around the world where people have encountered Saint Joseph. Christians will enjoy the beautiful architecture of the cathedrals highlighted in the movie as well.

A FATHER’S HEART has a strong Christian worldview. It takes viewers on a journey around the world to showcase the many tourist spots and cathedrals where people have experienced a renewal in their Christian faith. However, the movie has some secondary false or aberrant theology involving the accounts of priests and other people having encounters with Joseph.

For example, there is a story about a young man who in 1660 stopped on top of a hill to get some water after a long trip in stifling heat. The boy says Joseph told him, “I am Joseph. Move that rock and you will drink.” When the boy moved the rock, water came out of it. When he turns to see Joseph again, he disappears. People in the movie also say that Jesus loves his earthly father and that anything we pray for if we pray to Joseph will be granted because there’s nothing Jesus won’t do for his earthly father. They also refer to prayers as “wishes,” which kind of demotes Jesus’ status to a mere genie in a bottle who grants “wishes.” Some of the priests interviewed say Joseph had a pure heart and, because of that purity, has power to intercede for us. This statement gives the impression that through our works (particularly praying to Joseph) we have the power to reduce the spiritual warfare that takes place on Earth.

For these reasons, people who watch A FATHER’S HEART should take it as an opportunity to explore God’s Word Written, the Bible, further and discover awesome, appropriate ways to serve God better.

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Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.