Monseñor 85:00, 2010 (Ref: SA10783)


The Archbishop of San Salvador, Monseñor Óscar Romero, was killed by a professional hit-man in 1980 as he stood at the altar celebrating a memorial Mass for a friend. His assassination became the catalyst for a civil war that lasted 12-years and cost more than 75,000, mostly civilian, lives. This film tells the story of the last three years of his life. The narrative spine of MONSEÑOR develops through Romero’s own words, in extracts from his Sunday homilies and from his personal diary, in which each night he recorded the events of the day and his own thoughts and reflections. The story of El Salvador as the war approaches is told through the experiences of a cross section of Salvadorans: campesinos, guerrillas, soldiers, politicians, priests, nuns, catechists – providing a chorus of voices of people who shared with Romero the tragic history of their country. As this history evolved, so too did the reasons for Romero’s murder. This is the first film about Romero to place the Latin American campesinos at the centre of the story: it was they who inspired Romero to find his mission; it was because of the relationship he developed with them that he was killed. He was also one of the first priests in Latin America to practice what is now widely called “Liberation Theology”. His stand against the oppression of the poor has led The Vatican to consider the beatification of Romero.