WHAT TO SEE: The Woman
Why does the Church refer to the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God? How did it come to believe in her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, and her Assumption into heaven? What did it all mean when, while hanging from the cross, Jesus entrusted his mother to the care of John, the beloved disciple?
These points of dogma and much more are surveyed in “The Woman,” a new short film released on DVD by Ignatius Press. In a series of brief topical segments, the program looks at key Catholic teachings about Mary, her place in Scripture, and her unique role in salvation history. Perhaps the best known to U.S. audiences among the main presenters — three priests, a nun, and a lay woman, all from England — is Joanna Bogle, who writes and blogs for the National Catholic Register. Several young adults, who go unnamed until the closing credits, also make appearances to share aspects of their own appreciation of Mary and their devotion to her.
The film is at its best when discussing Mary’s model of complete trust in God and obedience to his will, as exemplified by her consent to conceive and give birth to the Savior of the world. Her connections to Eve, the “woman” of Genesis, to the various women of the Old Testament who prefigured Mary, and to the “woman” of Revelation all serve to highlight her pivotal role in God’s plan of redemption.
One might wish the presentation of this rich content were more engaging: “The Woman” consists of talking-head interviews punctuated by the occasional insertion of Marian religious art. There also are times the speakers get very theological for the average Catholic viewer. Nevertheless, those who remain attentive throughout this brief 39-minute film are amply rewarded with sound catechesis that expresses the beauty of Catholic teaching on the Blessed Mother.
GERALD KORSON is a Legatus magazine staff writer.