CNS PHOTO | COURTESY OF IGNATIUS PRESS
Monica Guerritore portrays the mother of St. Augustine, played by Alesandro Preziosi, in a scene from the movie Restless Heart from Ignatius Press.
St. Augustine's Confessions, the autobiographical account of his sinful youth and eventual conversion to Christianity, may be a centuries-old story but its message still resonates today, says the head of Ignatius Press.
For the first time, a feature film – titled Restless Heart – will tell the story of the fifth-century doctor of the Church's journey to faith, said Mark Brumley, CEO of Ignatius Press.
"Catholics who have children who stray and leave the faith, or a spouse who is not Catholic . . . can learn from the example of St. Augustine," Brumley said in a telephone interview.
St. Augustine of Hippo (AD354-430) "was raised in a family situation where his mother was a Christian and his father was not. He was not baptized as a child. He went off to school and was exposed to many perspectives at odds with faith," he said.
Later, after he converted to Christianity in 386 and was baptized, he "came to be a major figure," Brumley said.
The title of the movie is taken from a famous quote of St. Augustine: "Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee."
The U.S. debut of the film was scheduled for Aug. 29.
Ignatius Press is working with parishes, organizations and individuals who want to arrange a screening of the film at a local theatre or some other appropriate venue. Information about arranging a screening can be found online at www.restlessheartfilm.com.
Restless Heart is one of two films Ignatius Press is currently behind.
The other is called Cosmic Origins, about the intersection of faith and science, which is being made available for showings in parishes and schools. Information for private screenings of Cosmic Origins can be found at www.cosmicoriginsfilm.com.
Produced by an Italian public broadcasting station, Restless Heart was originally filmed in English as a miniseries and, with Ignatius Press as a partner, has made it to the U.S. as a full-length film.
"It is a truly inspirational film and I think people will be greatly moved," Brumley said. "They will be moved and inspired by the story of St. Augustine."
The other film, Cosmic Origins, brings together physicists from NASA, Harvard, Vanderbilt and Cambridge universities, and other institutions.
They discuss the scientific evidence for God's existence and his role in creating the universe, and counter the view some hold that faith and science are not compatible, said the film's executive producer, Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer.
"There is nothing that points away from God" in science, the priest told CNS. "Without a Creator, you can't have space and can't have time."
There is a "creative entity outside space and time itself. That's hard to put our arms around, but we must . . . even as physicists," Spitzer added.