Pope Benedict XVI once said that “the voice of God cannot be heard in the noise,” and surely that phrase can help us understand a movie not only by the message he wants to convey, but to go beyond the “obvious.” If we are a little sensitive, we can see in the ordinary spaces of society direct channels through which He speaks to us; and cinema can certainly be one of those places.
Ad Astra – Towards the Stars is not the pioneer in Hollywood to bring outer space as a setting for talking about human concerns and thinking about values and dilemmas. But why? Perhaps this place of apparent loneliness and silence may be conducive to forgetting external worries and turning to oneself from which the true uneasiness of the human being arises.
The film tells the story of Roy McBride (Brad Pitt), an astronaut assigned to travel deep within the solar system to find his father, missing since a trip to Neptune twenty years earlier. Known for his coldness and calculating in the most varied situations, he learns to rediscover his weaknesses when looking at his history and his past, when many anxieties begin to arise, some even caused by this fatherless absence.
In the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis says that in every family there are functions and tasks for men and women, so as to favor the maturation of the child. Moreover, he mentions that in today’s society the figure of the father seems to be increasingly distant, because he is “so focused on himself and his own work or on his own individual accomplishments that he even forgets his family”. This lack certainly leaves consequences and wounds, as can be seen in the life of the character and that of so many other people in real life. In times as confusing as today, it is essential to remember the value of the father in the formation of the person and especially his role in the family.
One of the issues that also stands out in the movie is loneliness, in two ways. McBride has difficulty expressing his feelings and especially letting others into his life, so even being close to people is always distant, something dangerous, because man was created by God to be in community, to have someone caring and loving, and also being touched by the other; This isolation can generate self-centeredness and narcissism, that is, placing oneself at the center of one’s life and leaving no room for the Other who is God and for others around him. But there is also a “healthy” loneliness, which allows to silence the noises of the world and alone can hear the voice of God. As Santa Teresa D’Ávila says, praying is “often being alone with Who we know loves us,” and from this relationship come fruits of self-knowledge,
At the same time, don’t expect a busy, action-packed script – despite having your moments – but the feature is a great opportunity to reflect on the relationship we want to have with God with others. The road to Neptune is long, but it is enough to realize that the past does not have the last word, it is up to you to decide who you want to be. From now on
Source: Victoria Arruda, ChurchPOP