Christians Could Contribute to Movies, Says Polish Director

Krzystof Zanussi Laments Hostility Between Believers and «World of Culture»

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VALENCIA, Spain, MAY 21, 2004 ( Polish film director Krzystof Zanussi says that Christians «have much to contribute» to the movies, despite filmdom’s evident hostility toward believers.

«For years there has been a certain mutual hostility between Christians and the world of culture,» Zanussi said when addressing an international film symposium at the Catholic University of St. Vincent Martyr in Valencia. «It is tragic that the believing public does not expect much from contemporary art.»

«Bishops do not watch the movies much» and believers «should be more interested in the world of entertainment,» because «they have much to contribute,» the director said.

According to Zanussi, «present-day European cinema is lower in quality than it was in the decade of the ’60s and ’70s. There is much boring cinematographic material. Very marginal topics are addressed, in the pursuit of scandals that no longer scandalize and that are even banal.»

On the other hand, «the present-day consumer society, the public of the mass media, is not interested in profound and existential problems,» he said.

«The metaphysical dimension is not present in today’s artistic creation because it does not interest the general public; the latter is interested in the superficial, in things that are not weighty,» the Pole contended.

Zanussi presented his latest film, «Life as a Mortal Sickness of Sexual Transmission,» in the film festival. The film portrays the struggle of man against nature, doing whatever he pleases, including the possibility of taking his own life.

Finally, the protagonist, a terminal patient, discovers that «life is not his property,» Zanussi said. «I understand that life is a gift.» The symposium ended last Saturday.

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