Doubt

By | March 30, 2010

Doubt

Went to see Doubt at Ilkley film club the night before last.  Its a  very good film about the pious certainty of an old style nun and the warm humanity of a caring priest who understands doubt.

It's set in a Catholic school in the Bronx which has just accepted its first black student. Father Flynn is the charismatic and caring priest who looks after the the interests of the  new boy. In his opening sermon he says that shared doubt can hold people together and can be something positive.

In contrast the principal is Sister Aloysius rules by fear, and is having none of this. Doubt for her is not an option, even when there's no evidence to support her position.  The scary sister is determine to get rid of the priest and is certain that his relationship with the boy is improper, and without a shred of evidence sets out on a sad and destructive mission. All that matters is her own unfounded certainty.

The film is very challenging and dips into all sorts of human and political conflicts. Father Flynn wants to make the church more relevant and embrace the popular culture of the day; he sees the people and the priesthood as equal; he's prepared to bend the rules in the name of compassion. Sister Aloysius on the other hand holds steady as the winds of change blow through the community.

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