Jesuit Premieres Ricci Documentary
Tags: Jesuit, Jesuit Father Jeremy Clarke, jesuits, Matteo Ricci, Society of Jesus
Jesuit Father Jeremy Clarke, an assistant professor of history at Boston College, premiered his film “Beyond Ricci: Celebrating 400 Years of the Chinese Catholic Church,” which he wrote, produced and directed, at Boston College on October 7. Jesuit Father James McDermott assisted Fr. Clarke with the documentary, which tells the story of Ricci’s life.
Running 53 minutes, the documentary starts off in Macau, where Ricci began his Jesuit duties in 1582. From there, it followed his journey throughout eight Chinese cities and then describes his accomplishments, such as his skills in cartography and translation and his knowledge of Chinese culture.
The film then goes on to show how Catholicism has grown in China since Ricci’s arrival in the late 16th century.
The documentary was both an educational as well as a passionate project for Fr. Clarke and his team, he said. Fascinated with Ricci since his youth, Fr. Clarke wanted to properly acknowledge the fact that 2010 is the 400th anniversary of Ricci’s death. “I wanted to use this 400th anniversary to tell the story of his life, and, in doing so, celebrate the life of the Catholic Church in China today,” Fr. Clarke said. As a result, Frs. Clarke and McDermott decided to do a filming expedition through China in just 30 days. [The Heights]