I reviewed Stations of the Cross for the theology blog Think Theology.
Well, let’s rewind a bit, and start with both the plot and an egregious name drop. Stations of the Cross – an award winning German drama that is unlikely to hit your multiplex any time soon – tells the story of a girl, Maria, who develops unhealthy ideas about God after buying into the dogmatic teachings of her sect of Catholicism, the Society of St Pius XII. It follows her in the week leading up to her confirmation as she deals with guilt, ostracism and ill health because of these ideas. It’s a display of legalism so destructive the Pharisees would blush, embodied in particular by Maria’s mother and priest. Yet the director, Dietrich Brüggemann, assured me that it wasn’t an anti religious film, saying that religion is only destructive “if you take it too seriously.” Yet the chances are that if you read ThinkTheology, you take your faith pretty seriously. So what do we make of a film where the church is clearly villainous? And why do I consider this apparent attack on Christianity to be one of the best films of the year?