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Becket (1964)

Heretics, Revolutionaries, and Reformers: A Film Series

Sunday, September 10, 2017, 3:00pm

IU Cinema

“Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” asks King Henry II (Peter O’Toole) in this classic treatment of the martyrdom of Thomas Becket (Richard Burton), the 12th-century archbishop of Canterbury. Depicting the early friendship and growing rift between the two men as Becket shifts his loyalties from king to church, Becket emotionally dramatizes the personal stakes of principled critique of and dissent from political authority. In English, Latin, and Welsh with English subtitles. (35mm Presentation)

Commemorating the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses on the door at Wittenberg—an act of dissent that is often taken as inaugurating the Protestant Reformation—this series tells four stories of religious dissidents, reformers, and revolutionaries in the centuries surrounding Luther’s catalytic act. Each of these films engages the dangers of speaking out against or trying to reform powerful political or religious institutions. These films depict the fluid relations between marginalized figures and centers of power and between the sometimes conflicting authorities of law and of conscience. And each story invites us to consider what might be at stake in speaking one’s conscience, critiquing authorities, articulating dissent, calling for reform, or challenging the status quo—not only in the pre-modern world but also, perhaps, in our own. Films in the series include Becket (1964), A Man for All Seasons (1966), Luther (2003), and La Passion de Jean D’Arc (1928).

This series is sponsored by The Medieval Studies Institute, The Renaissance Studies Program, the Departments of Religious Studies and English, the College Arts and Humanities Institute, and IU Cinema.