The Power of Honesty, Acceptance, Non-Judgement & Loyalty
Peter Kahrmann | USA | 10/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The power of Father Mychal Judge's impact on those who knew him and those, like me, who only met him through this documentary, is his honesty, his ability to accept life as is, and his thoroughly non-judgemental way of interacted with others.
I did not experience this work as a work about a gay man or gay priest or an alcoholic man or an alcoholic priest who showed courage on 9/11. Instead, I experienced this work as being about a man who dealt with alcoholism and who happened to be gay. Each truth is but a component of the man, neither one is his definition. The defining truth about Father Mychal Judge is found in his courage, honesty, capacity for acceptance, his non-judgement of others and his unflinching loyalty to the firefighters. A loyalty that is underscored when one learns that Mayor Guiliani told Father Mychal, who was at the WTC with the firefighters, he could join the mayor's party and go to a safe place. Father Mychal said, "No, I've got to stay with my men."
Father Mychal was administering to a dying firefighter when he was killed in the collapse of the first tower. Father Mychal Judge understood that, as I have heard in the rooms of AA, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking less about yourself." I think everyone should see this documentary. Perhaps Father Mychal Judge knew there is no safer place than heaven."
A Selfless, Gay Clergy Member
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 10/17/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Father Judge died on 9-11 being of assistance to his beloved firefighters. This work explores his life through people who knew him best.
If you loved Mother Theresa, you should love this guy. He helped the homeless. He had ethnic pride. A black man was interviewed who spoke of how Judge befriended and aided him; I get the sense the Father was an anti-racism advocate.
He was human like everyone else, just with a big heart. He admitted to struggling with alcoholism. He got a shamrock tattoo "somewhere private" without realizing it. He was not out everywhere, so the closet was a challenge for him, like many gay men.
Many bigots say that gay men can't be patriotic and are immoral. Here was a man full of ethics. He died helping those in need. He should be respected by people of all sexualities.
I read a review elsewhere that said he couldn't be gay because he was a priest. However, in this work, the people who knew him said he identified as gay. Deal with it if you can't! If I remember correctly, they do not say whether he was always celibate. They could have been braver by truthfully addressing that issue.
Ian McKellen follows Harvey Fierstein in being an openly gay man narrating a documentary about another openly gay man. His voice has the resonance and authority that one would expect for such an accomplished actor.
At times gushy, this piece was still a powerful one that every American should enjoy and from which every American should learn."
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 12/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
?SAINT OF 9/11?
Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride
9/11 is a day many of us will never forget and regardless of the horror and fear that we associate with that fateful date we are indeed proud of the gay men and women who took part in it. ?Saint of 9/11? is a documentary of one of the brave gay individuals who lost his life. The film presents the turbulence and spirituality of Father Mychal Judge, a compassionate champion of the needy and the forgotten. His tenure as chaplain of the New York Fire Department forced him into iconoclasm. He was rousing and a balladeer. Father Mychal also wrestled with his own demons at the same time he was touching others in both powerful and miraculous ways. When September 11 occurred he was already familiar with the pain of loss and battling alcoholism. He was outspoken about Alcoholics Anonymous and he was an openly gay man who loved the priesthood.
?Saint? gives us an inside picture of the spiritual adventure of his life in which the love of alcohol and the love of men took center stage. The movie is about a life that was interrupted too early and as the film shows his utter humanity, it also shows a man who was fighting with himself. The movie is a celebration of his life and gives him the kind of memorial that all of his would love to have but few of us deserve. His life was for others?firemen, the homeless, the sick and the outcast. As much as the loved the church, he did what he thought was right because he knew that was the way it should be done and many times he was at odds with his church.
The movie is a series of interviews with those who knew him best?his friends. This is an absolutely wonderful documentary and gives us the inside of a man who meant so much to so many. There is so much new here that it is a learning experience. This moving tribute will bring tears to your eyes at the same time it will have you chuckling. Ian McKellan serves as the voice of Father Mychal and as the narrator of the film.
The movie is brand new on DVD and if you have the chance don?t miss it. It will show you the goodness of man and at the same time will allow you have a little bit of that horrible day, 9/11 with you for a long time.
Saint of 9-11 worthy of Reflection
Johnpaul Cafiero | Chicago, IL USA | 03/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a great tribute to Father Mychal and the Franciscans: men living what they preach. I must see for all truly spiritual people."