Man of God

image for Man of God

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Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 13 (themes, language, violence). May lack interest under 16.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Man of God
  • a review of Man of God completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 8 June 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to themes, language and violence.
Children aged 8–13 Parental guidance recommended due to themes, language and violence.
Children over the age of 13 Ok for this age group but will likely lack interest under 16.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Man of God
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and infrequent coarse language
Length: 109 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

In 1890, Nektarios (Arias Servetalis) walks the dusty streets of Alexandria in Egypt, ministering to the needs of the people, inspiring them with his sermons, showering them with his limitless compassion, wisdom and love, and doing everything in his power to alleviate their poverty, injustice and suffering. While the population adored him, the bishops and higher clergy grew more and more jealous of the devotion the people felt toward Nektarios. They plotted against him, slandered him and began rumours that Nektarios wanted the Patriarch’s position and that his piety was all an act. Terrified of losing his power, the Patriarch (Nikitas Tsakiroglou) believed the lies and banished Nektarios from Egypt. Despite the fact that the people would have supported him, Nektarios did not want to cause unrest or do anything to hurt the Patriarch so he left quietly and quickly for Greece. However, the slanderers continued to persecute Nektarios, sending letters continuing to defame and denounce him, ensuring that he would not be able to get a position or be able to help or influence anyone. Despite all the persecution and hardship, Nektarios never lost his faith in God. He continued to trust and never gave up hope. Eventually some people began to see past the lies, to the kind and noble soul that lived amongst them. Nektarios was given a Headmaster’s position at a rundown school meant to teach boys academics as well as to guide them to priesthood. Through his wisdom and hard work, Nektarios transformed the school and the lives of those who attended. He went on to establish a monastery for nuns in his later years and, though troubles followed wherever he went, he remained steadfast in his faith, never losing trust in God, and helping countless others find peace along the way. It was this life of constant devotion and of perfect piety that led Church leaders (nearly fifty years after his passing) to declare Nektarios a Saint.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Persecution; Betrayal; Slander; Asceticism; Abuse of power; Family dysfunction.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • A dying boy tells how his father killed himself and how his stepmother sold his sisters into servitude, leaving him with nothing to live for.
  • A boy rips up newspaper and slams a desk.
  • A man angrily shoves books off a table towards Nektarios.
  • A mother enters a monastery and roughly grabs her daughter, demanding that she return home.
  • An angry man shoves two nuns aside.
  • Nektarios is slapped in the face.
  • Officers begin tearing the monastery apart, tossing furniture and overturning items. They throw an old, sick woman off the bed and dump her on the floor.
  • A man falls off a cliff and is shown all cut up and bandaged.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Shortly before Nektarios dies his breathing becomes very laboured. He makes terrible rasping sounds, partially sits up and with bulging eyes asks a question of God. He then lays down and dies. The man lying beside him is badly injured after falling off a cliff. He has many bandages, deep cuts and scars and generally feels quite hopeless. Some children may be upset by the injuries and impending death.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • An angry mother, upset that Nektarios won’t order her daughter to return home with her, goes to the police to slander his reputation. She reports that Nektarios seduced her daughter and probably got her pregnant. She accuses him of having immoral relations with the nuns in his care.
  • Rumours circulate that there are stillborn children, belonging to the nuns, buried in the monastery.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • The nuns are ordered to have medical examinations. The first nun is shown lying on her back with a sheet over her bent legs while a doctor examines her. She is silently crying throughout her ordeal and is ultimately pronounced a virgin.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • An intoxicated man sings and shouts as he staggers his way through the woods, carrying a bottle of what can only be assumed is wine.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Whoremonger
  • Hell.

In a nutshell

Man of God is a simple, documentary-style film outlining the life of an unassuming, yet heroic man whose life of love and kindness led him to be declared a saint. There are some subtitles in the film and much of the dialogue will probably go over the heads of most children. The film is best suited to older, mature audiences and anyone interested in the authentic retelling of religious history.

The main messages from this movie are to have faith; trust in God; listen to your inner voice; and to forgive those who treat you badly.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Forgiveness
  • Patience
  • Wisdom
  • Compassion
  • Love.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of forgiving those who wrong us; of having faith even when the world seems to be falling apart; and performing simple acts of kindness, simply for the sake of bringing joy to someone’s heart or a smile to their face.