CV NEWS FEED // A new film depicting the interior struggles of one of modernity’s most beloved saints is coming to theaters at the beginning of October, and its makers hope to inspire audiences with the desire to joyfully live out their Christian faith.
“Mother Teresa & Me,” a film written and directed by award-winning Swiss-Indian filmmaker Kamal Musale, follows two very different, yet very similar women through difficult periods in their lives. The first is Kavita, an Indian woman who unexpectedly becomes pregnant. The second is St. Teresa of Calcutta, known throughout the world as “Mother Teresa,” whose struggles with faith and interior life are discovered through the eyes of Kavita.
According to Musale, who wrote about the film on the movie’s website, Mother Teresa wrote to a few confessors shortly after receiving her call to serve the poor of Calcutta, saying that she suddenly felt abandoned by Jesus. The letters were made public after her death, but many Christians still don’t know that Mother Teresa struggled with faith and belief in God for the rest of her life, even as she cared for the poor and homeless of India.
Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 to care for the poorest of the poor in Calcutta. After years of ministry in the streets of India, her order spread throughout the world and she received a Nobel Peace Prize. Mother Teresa was canonized in 2016 by Pope Francis, who called her “a holy woman who defended the unborn, the sick and the abandoned and who shamed world leaders for the ‘crimes of poverty they themselves created.’”
Musale said that he wanted to delve into Mother Teresa’s previously unknown interior struggle in the film, saying that her struggle to trust God even when she could not hear his voice makes her more relatable to Christians today.
“Extensive research inspired me to develop a complex character, closer to her inner torments, those of a woman who experiences both joys and sorrows, and even her own sense of failure in that which mattered most to her: her faith in God,” he wrote. “When she writes that she felt abandoned by Jesus, her lover, her spouse, her intimate soul mate, we encounter a human being that we can identify with, someone that can inspire us in our own struggles in life.”
“To make Teresa’s example relevant today, I chose to discover her through the eyes of a modern young woman living in today’s Western society who represents a younger generation’s vibrant quest for meaning. Thus, Kavita’s character was created,” Musale continued.
Musale said that throughout the film, Mother Teresa’s faith and perseverance inspire Kavita to confront her own problems and doubts about her pregnancy, giving the audience a tangible example of what imitating Mother Teresa can look like.
To further emulate Mother Teresa’s work, “Mother Teresa & Me” partnered with the Zariya Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping impoverished and underprivileged children throughout the world. The organization, named after an Urdu word that means “source,” was co-founded in 2010 by Jacqueline Fritschi-Cornaz, who plays Mother Teresa in the movie. All the proceeds from the film will be donated to the Zariya Foundation, continuing Mother Teresa’s legacy of caring for the poor.