Arising out of the horror of the Spanish Civil War, a candidate for canonization is investigated by a journalist who discovers his own estranged father had a deep, dark and devastating connection to the saint’s life.
This story of different choices and their consequences is based on true events. The title, “There Be Dragons”, has a double meaning. It was used by the mapmakers of old to designate uncharted waters that may have unknown dangers or “dragons”. The term is also used by the filmmaker as a metaphor for the “dragons” in our own lives as we face struggles between good and evil. The central character, Manolo, writes his son and confesses there are some “dragons” in his background.
The story is essentially about two men who take different paths; one historic person, Josemaria Escriva (played convincingly by Charlie Cox) was canonized as a saint by Pope John Paul II. Father Escriva founded Opus Dei, meaning “God’s works”, a prelature of the Catholic Church. The film does a fantastic job in its artistic approach, helping us see Escriva through a different lens than Manolo (Wes Bentley) who grows up with Escriva, and takes a much different path as a soldier and spy, while constantly challenging the priest’s faith.
The story centers on war-torn Spain and the persecution of the Church and all those who represent Christ. The war is depicted realistically and graphically in the movie with shootings, the spilling of blood, explosions, fires and betrayal. Hard questions are asked such as why God allows pain and suffering and one boy asks, “Do we hate God now?”
This film delivers a compelling message that forgiveness is the gateway to freedom no matter how difficult the circumstances. The redemption of a hardened man’s heart is the movie’s shining depiction of God’s power to overcome hatred with forgiveness. Because of the redemptive theme, we are pleased to award “There Be Dragons” the Dove Faith-Based Seal, with cautions for violence and language. There is a stark realism in this film. Families should consult the content chart below.