The documentary “Taking a Chance on God” regarding the Catholic Church and homosexuality arrives in Italy
Press Release by the Project Gionata, October 24, 2012, translated from the Italian by kathryn
After the trimphant premiere of “Taking a Chance on God” in New York, the documentary will now be shown in Italy. Directed by the Irish director Brendan Fay, the documentary recounts the life of John McNeill, an openly gay priest, Catholic theologian and pioneer for the human rights of gay people both in society and in the Church.
The film describes the incredible life story of John McNeill, born in Buffalo (US) 85 years ago, a survivor of the Nazi prison camps, a Jesuit priest who promoted peace in Vietnam, equal rights for gay people and is the author of a number of revolutionary books on spirituality for the gay community.
A dedicated AIDS activist during the AIDS crisis of the 1980´s, he refused to be silenced on homosexuality by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, today Pope Benedict XVI, and was consequently expelled from the Jesuits in april of 1987.
“Taking a Chance on God” relates the love of McNeill for the Catholic Church, the LGBT community, his religious peers and his long-standing partner of more than 40 years. A powerful story of faith, love and perseverance in the face of oppression and rejection.
“Taking a Chance on God” will be screened for the first time in Europe on Thursday the 25th of October, at 17:00, at the Odeon Cinema of Florence to open the Florence Queer Festival (a short version of the film was previously shown at Europride in Rome in 2011) and during the remaining days of the Florence Queer Film festival.
The screening in Italy of “Taking a Chance on God” is possible thanks to the Florence Queer Festival, organised by the local LGBT association Ireos within the framework of 50 days of international cinema sponsored by the Regional Audiovisual Library of the region of Tuscany, and thanks to the efforts of the Gay Christian groups in Italy, the Forum of Gay Christians in Italy in collaboration with numerous other Italian associations as well as the volunteers of the Gionata Project.
In honour of the queer liberation theology promoted by John McNeill, the publishing house “Le Piagge” has recently dedicated the book ““Cercare se stessi… per trovare Dio. Omosessualità, Chiesa, Fede, Vangelo, Spirito” (Finding oneself..in order to find God. Homosexuality, Church, Faith, Gospel, Spirit), in which the elderly theologian engages in a stimulating and thought-provoking dialogue-interview with the journalist Valerio Gigante, sharing with great clarity his liberation theology regarding the Catholic Church, faith and homosexuality.
Taking A Chance on God
Brendan Fay, Director & Producer
Dan Messina, Editor & Director of Photography
Ilene Cutler, Assistant Editor
Peter Wetzler, Composer