Saturday, December 3, 2011

War of the Vendee: The Movie

As a fan of period movies who is occasionally suspicious of their contemporary creators' ideological biases, I have long wanted to see an epic cinematic treatment of the Catholic royalist counterrevolutionary revolt in the Vendée, an unjustly little-known true story full of courage and tragedy and everything that could make a historical drama great. Now as if to answer my prayers the independent Catholic film studio Navis Pictures has released the trailer of their forthcoming (January 2012) movie War of the Vendée. With an undoubtedly sincere cast that seems to consist entirely of children and teenagers, this looks like an effort worthy of support from all monarchists. Its unsophisticated but well-meaning acting and production values may even prove a refreshing contrast from slick Hollywood blockbusters.

However, while it's all very well if Navis Pictures wants to tell this "violent and brutal" story "with a careful sense of reserve" so as to make it "safe for the whole family to watch," I would still like to see a major studio with more resources tackle a similar project someday with enough gory honesty to merit an "R" or even "NC-17" rating. The French Revolution must be seen for what it was: a sadistic bloodbath utterly without merit whose evil legacy has plagued human civilisation for over two centuries, and perhaps only a film violent enough to shock even modern audiences could convey this message properly.

À bas la Révolution! À bas la République! Vive le Roi!


Jim Morlino said...

Dear Theodore,
Amen. I consider myself a fairly well-read, and zealous Catholic, and yet, never in my 52 years had I ever heard a single word about the Vendee - until a year ago. I devoured the books by Davies, Secher, Carroll and Schama, and was convinced this was a story that needed to be told. I have been mindful from day one though, that owing to the unique ethos of our particular genre of children's cinema, we would never be able to tell the entire story, but I too have long hoped someone with integrity and 100 million dollars would someday make a LOTR-sized epic of this tragic and beautiful saga. Maybe our little mini-epic will find its way to that person, and serve as a little kick in the cullottes! Thanks for including us on your blog, and watch for the release of the film in a couple months.
God Bless,
- Jim Morlino
President, Navis Pictures

Theodore Harvey said...

Thanks for your comment; I'm happy to help publicize the film. Will it be available in theaters in major cities (like Dallas, where I live), or primarily on DVD via your website? I wish you and everyone at Navis Pictures the best. I hope I didn't sound disrespectful in my original post because I really do admire what you're doing, especially since no one else is doing it.

Jim Morlino said...

No offense taken. I think that when folks actually get a chance to sit down and watch the film in its entirety, whatever blemishes and shortcomings there are due to our limited budget, are often outweighed by the impact made by the innocence and beauty of these young, faithful actors. Most people seem to forget they are watching non-traditional casting after the first few minutes.
In the next few months, will be making the festival rounds, working on finding a distributor, and getting some limited release for the film, in addition to selling the DVD. If you'd like to stay abreast of our progress, I'd invite you and your readers to visit the website
and sign up for our mailing list.
Thanks for noticing us.
St. Louis de Montfort...Pray for us.