Restless Heart: A Timeless Story for New Christian Films
One of the greatest minds in western culture and influences in Christianity is making his debut in a major motion picture. Restless Heart is based on the most profound writings of St. Augustine of Hippo. Augustine led a life void of a moral compass, followed the Manichaean religion that opposed Christianity and held the most distinguished academic position in the western world before his conversion to Christianity. One of the new Christian films to release this fall, Restless Heart is “the most moving story of conversion and reconciliation ever brought to the big screen,” says Ignatius Press President, Mark Brumley.
“Restless Heart offers a soul-stirring portrait of a great sinner who became one of the Church’s greatest saints,” says Tim Drake, writer for the National Catholic Register. “It’s a timeless conversion story for our age – a testament to the power of Truth.
Restless Heart chronicles the fall of the Roman civilization as Augustine builds the intellectual framework that shaped Europe. Calvinist, along with many other Protestants, views Augustine as a theological father of the Reformation, especially due to his explanations on salvation and divine grace. He is a saint among the Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican churches and is considered a Doctor of the Church. His works, Confessions and City of God are still important classics of the Christian faith today. Among new Christian films this year, Restless Heart speaks to all who question or seek the truth about God.
Pope Benedict XVI said after watching the film, “In a context that is very remote for us today, we’ve seen how despite the reality of human life- with its problems, misfortunes, and failures- that the Truth is stronger in overcoming any obstacle and reaches the human person.”
Ushering the Legend to New Christian Films
The movie captures the 70-year-old Augustine in 430 A.D. as the bishop of Hippo telling of his conversion to Christianity to Jovinus, a Roman guard captain. In his youth in Roman North Africa, Augustine was becoming a narcissist eager for prominence. After Augustine left the church as a youngster, his mother Monica played the most important role in his reversion back to Christianity. She prayed that “one day, we will be united in our faith.”
Young Augustine left to Carthage and became a great orator and lawyer. He began his condemned relationship with a slave woman he couldn’t marry with whom he had a son with. As a lawyer, Augustine convinced the acquittal of a man accused of assaulting his wife, whom the man later murders. After returning home with his mistress and son, he becomes the emperor’s orator. Augustine leaves without his mistress and son and finally loses them.
After witnessing the murders of innocent Christians while the Roman army seizes the Basilica in Milan to weaken Bishop Ambrose, Augustine scorns the murders before the young emperor and walks out. Augustine now stops talking and begins to listen to Bishop Ambrose words to “let the truth find” him. After Augustine’s baptism, the bishop tells Augustine that God expects more from him due to his gift to communicate and entrusts Augustine to a jar of ink. “Use it all,” encourages Bishop Ambrose.
In this new Christian films most commanding moment, now-Bishop Augustine dialogues against the Donatist, an emerging sect he struggled with for years. In this skilled debate, a path to truth will be decided. The conclusion of the movie is set back to Hippo, where Bishop Augustine urges a negotiation with King Genseric before Hippo is attacked by the king’s Vandal raiders. However, the Roman garrison refuses to negotiate with the Vandal king. As Augustine’s jar of ink runs empty, will he decide to escape on a ship sent by the Pope or stay with his people?
An Epic Movie for New Christian Films
Restless Heart is a $20-million film directed by Christian Duguay (Joan of Arc, Pius XII) and stars Allesandro Presiosi, Monica Guerritore, Johannes Brandrup, Serena Rossi and Franco Nero.
“Restless Heart tells St. Augustine’s story with superb production values, and it features an outstanding cast,” says Brumley “This is a tremendous opportunity to launch the Year of Faith and engage in the New Evangelization.”
One of only a few new Christian films that allow it, Restless Heart is now available for sponsored screenings throughout the country before the anticipated fall release. Individuals, church groups, parishes, and other organizations can arrange for this epic film to be shown immediately in their city and even small town.
Please contact Victor Pap (678-990-9032 or email VPap@MaximusMG.com) or Brandon Duncan (678-990-9032 or email BDuncan@MaximusMG.com) of The Maximus Group for information about viewing Restless Heart in your community.
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