Shekhar Kapoor's Elizabeth film 'anti papist': UK Catholics

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London, Nov 2 (UNI) Renowned Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapoor's new movie on the life of Queen's Elizabeth I has been branded as ''anti-papist propaganda'' by Catholics in Britain.

'Elizabeth: The Golden Age' is due to be released in the country today.

The chorus of criticism for the movie started from Rome, where historian Franco Cardini said a film that ''so profoundly and perversely distorts history cannot be judged a good film''.

Prof Cardini said, ''Elizabeth I has been portrayed as a strong and courageous queen capable of donning armour while being a passionate woman who is in love.'' The defeat of the Spanish Armada was portrayed as a shining victory for free thought against the darkness of the Inquisition, of liberty against tyranny and so on, he said.

Mr Cardini said, ''the attacks on the Catholic Church in the film stemmed from a knowledge among other faiths that without Catholicism, Christianity would lose its true fulcrum.'' The Catholic News Service stated that all the Catholics in the film were twisted, embittered intriguers, adding, ''the climax, is a crescendo of Church-bashing imagery with rosaries floating amid burning flotsam, inverted crucifixes sinking to the bottom of the ocean, the rows of ominous berobed clerics sinking away in defeat.'' The movie is said to be more damaging to the Catholic Church than the Da Vinci Code.

The administrator of Westminster Cathedral has also been criticised for allowing scenes to be shot on its premises.

Father Ray Blake of St Mary Magdalen said historical inaccuracies in the film included showing Fotheringay Castle, where Mary, Queen of Scots, was beheaded, at the end of a Scottish loch, when it was in fact on a flat plain in Northamptonshire.

The film also shows a Babington plot assassin trying to fire his pistol at the queen, when in fact the scheme was thwarted much earlier, he said.

UNI

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