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Category:    Home > Reviews > Special Interest > Religion > History > Opus Dei & The Da Vinci Code

Opus Dei & The Da Vinci Code (BFS)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Film: B-



Opus Dei & The Da Vinci Code (2005) is a documentary about a Catholic sect featured in book and film The Da Vinci Code.  I'm not Catholic and it took me a little while to catch on to the background covered in the first 20 minutes.  Also, I haven't read the Dan Brown book so I had to believe what the narrator was telling me about the book.  Throughout we are supposed to decide whether the group is a cult or something harmless or something in between.  People are interested in this subject right now and I can't figure out why.  Is it for the religious reason, is it because it may denounce religion as fabrication, is it for the treasure hunting aspects; I don't know.


Churches and Opus Dei seem to have gained attendance or membership because of all the hubbub.  From seeing some of the facts, I don't like the idea that they wear a thing called a silas, which induced discomfort for 2 hours out of the day.  Seems like a pointless self-imposed injuring on one's self.  The Bible says nothing about doing this; in fact it says the opposite when Paul spoke mockingly in the Bible about the mutilators of the flesh also it is said that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  The only thing that is utilized in the Bible like this would be fasting.  Many doctors say fasting can have the advantage of cleansing the body.  One other thing is the founder Ascriva (sp?) is now a saint and they have a huge painting of him in front of a wealthy church.  I don't agree with this practice in Catholicism.  You should be worshiping God and Jesus.  It is God who works good works through men.  Men should not get the credit like that.


Keeping it in perspective though, the narrator and I agree that Opus Dei is not a cult.  It does not force people to be members or drug them or brainwash them.  It boils down to conservative groups (i.e. Opus Dei) vs. liberal groups inside the Catholic Church.  Nothing more.  This is portrayed totally different in the book.  The book twists facts and takes some facts and mixes them with non-facts.  That's fine, the book is fiction.  In reality, Opus Dei challenges secularism in today’s society and is about working at an everyday job and feeling that God approves of the work you do by way of sanctification (which means justifying morally and to God over and over again every day what you are doing with your life).  There's one point in the documentary where they interview a woman that is a part of ODAN.  This is a group of former Opus Dei members that are bitter about their experience.


I listened to what the woman said but it didn't sound like to me to be anything unusual and sounded like a way to vent frustration about a part of their lives when they were overly zealous about religion.  Every church has this occur and possibly all people who get involved in a church go through this immature stage of their personal faith.  It's like starting a group blaming puberty on your parents.  Like I said earlier, there was no evidence throughout that this was a cult.  The only thing brought forth was the self-mutilation, which could be considered controversial.  But no one forces anyone or convinces them they should do it.


A quick technical note, the package list 16:9 image but this is only standard 4:3 image and is in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound with no surrounds.  The extra is 8 interviews with affiliates and non-affiliates of Opus Dei.  People will enjoy this if they like The Da Vinci Code book or movie and want to know more or for those who want to find out if there is a conspiracy involving small groups inside the Catholic Church.  It takes a fair look at Opus Dei.



-   Marcus Mazur


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