Tiburon International Film Festival
2007 Golden Reel Awards
winner: Best Documentary
Women Make Movies
From Oscar and Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Allie Light and Irving Saraf (Dialogues With Madwomen and In The Shadow of The Stars), in partnership with Carol Monpere, also an Emmy Award-winner, The Sermons Of Sister Jane: Believing the Unbelievable, an engaging portrait that sparkles with the courage, wit and humanity of Sister Jane Kelly, who combines her deep spiritual faith with her equally powerful commitment towards resistance and change.
When Sister Jane discovered that a priest in her church was molesting young men and stealing from the congregation, and when the evidence was ignored by the church, she contacted the press, creating a scandal. Throughout the film she shares her progressive views on issues such as birth control, homosexuality, and women priests. Throughout the film she shares her progressive views on issues such as birth control, homosexuality, and women priests. She impels the Catholic Church to return to egalitarian roots of community. The scenes filmed at Plowshares, an organization she created to feed and serve the poor and homeless, demonstrate Sister Jane’s powerful ability to translate her faith into profoundly meaningful action. This touching documentary, skillfully produced by these acclaimed filmmakers, reveals Sister Jane’s long struggle to speak out against what she believed was wrong, and how this ongoing battle ultimately has heart-breaking results.
“Sister Jane tells it like it is. She represents the best that Catholicism has to offer, with no thanks to the male hierarchy…Here is a feminist nun who lives the values of justice and equality. The film captures her spirit and spreads her convictions.”
Mary e. Hunt, PhD:
Co-director, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual
“Our eyes are opened, our ears unplugged and our tongues loose. And we are going to take a stand because I’ll tell you right now: no one, not the pope, not the archbishop, not the bishop, no one tells sister Jane what she can say, when she can say it, how she can say it and where she can say it”.
If all Sister Jane Kelly did with her life was battle the church hierarchy, she would be remembered. She did more. A nun for 55 years when she discovered that a priest in her church was molesting young men and stealing from the congregation, she went to the bishop. When he ignored the evidence, she informed the Vatican. Cardinal Ratzinger dismissed her letters. She contacted the press, creating a scandal. These experiences shattered her faith in church dogma, including beliefs about birth control, homosexuality, married priests, women priests and the virgin birth. Being deeply religious, she impels the Catholic Church to return to egalitarian roots of community and of nurturing the poor.
“It’s all about power, it’s all about money. I have a simple solution, do what Jesus said: go sell what you have, give to the poor then come, follow me”.
She founded Plowshares to feed and serve the poor and homeless. Her courage, wit and humanity shine throughout the film. Produced by Academy and Emmy award winning filmmakers, Allie Light and Irving Saraf in partnership with Carol Monpere, winner of the Emmy, Peabody and Dupont-Columbia Awards. The Sermons of Sister Jane: Believing the Unbelievable is 53 minutes long and will be available soon from Women Make Movies in New York. In the meantime you can contact the producers.