In Lent 2021 I hosted a series of six Lenten movies for the community at Wesley House, Cambridge. I selected the following films, all of which are in the Public Domain and therefore free for anyone to watch and broadcast. They are mostly classics of world cinema and aimed at providing spiritual nourishment during Lent.
 

21 February 2021 – Intolerance (1916)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intolerance_(film)This masterpiece of the silent era covers four historical instances of inhumanity – including the treatment of Jesus.

 

28 February 2021 – Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunrise:_A_Song_of_Two_Humans
A tale of reconciliation, once ranked as the fifth best film ever.


 

7 March 2021 – The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Passion_of_Joan_of_ArcOur third Lenten movie was Carl Theodor Dreyer’s silent classic “The Passion of Joan of Arc” (1928), a ground-breaking film based on the actual record of the trial of Joan of Arc. You can watch it online here:


 

14 March 2021 – Angel and the Badman (1947)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_and_the_Badman
Our fourth Lenten movie was the atypical Western “Angel and the Badman” (1947; dir. J.E.Grant) starring John Wayne as an injured gunman who is nursed back to health by a Quaker, forcing a decision on whether to follow the way of violence or nonviolence.You can watch it free here:

 

21 March 2021 – Bicycle Thieves (1948)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_Thieves The fifth Lenten movie was the Italian classic “Bicycle Thieves” (1948; dir Vittorio De Sica). It was voted the best film of all time in 1952 and the sixth greatest ever made in 2002.

 

28 March 2021 – The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1966)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gospel_According_to_St._Matthew_(film)
The final film was “The Gospel According to St. Matthew” (1964; dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini). The best movie about Jesus ever – or so said the Vatican newspaper. Roger Ebert wrote about his film that “Pasolini’s is one of the most effective films on a religious theme I have ever seen, perhaps because it was made by a nonbeliever who did not preach, glorify, underline, sentimentalize or romanticize his famous story, but tried his best to simply record it.” – https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-gospel-according-to-st-matthew-1964 You can watch here: