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Home Activism “What do you believe in, when you’re alone in the quiet?”

“What do you believe in, when you’re alone in the quiet?”

By Kate Kight

Washington DC (The Hollywood Times) 2/13/18 – Catholic is derived from two Ancient Greek words that translate to ‘universal’, a religion meant to encompass the world through peace and forgiveness. Born in blood and oppression, the Catholic church has outlasted empires and spread across the continents to become a dominate political and religious force.

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Edy Ganem & Aaron Tveit

In Created Equal, that force meets its match in Sister Alejandra Batista. Edy Ganem is open and honest as the sister who believes she has a divine calling to be a Catholic priest. As a teacher inspiring young schoolgirls at a low-income school, Sister Batista is quickly established as the young ingénue with dreams in need of rescuing. Young, hotshot lawyer Tommy Reilly is her womanizing, profit-hunting contrast, and despite his surprisingly quick willingness to give up his career and family to fight for Sister Batista, his character makes a compelling arc across the film. The faith he finds through his work is not the faith born of tradition and dogma, but faith that through good works and a commitment to justice, it is possible to bring the laws of god and humans in concert.

The breakout star of Created Equal is Judge Watford, whose calm yet canny presence on the bench anchors the viewers between the mundane and divine worlds within which this film treads. Early on, he reminds us that the laws of Western men and western gods both promised equality but failed utterly to deliver it, a tension that is echoed in his final ruling.

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The failings of the Catholic church are represented in the films three central villains, the menacing failed priest who terrorizes our heroes in his misguided fury, the managing partner who tries to settle the case in fear of losing his standing in the community, and Monsignor Renzulli, the dogmatic opposing counsel whose rich robes and opulent surroundings put him in instant contest with Sister Batista. It is clear irony that the deadly sins of wrath, pride, and greed are all embodied by the characters who purport to represent the Catholic Church.

Created Equal Movie on Twitter: “The @carmelfilmfest premiere was amazing! Author, Roger A. Brown and producer, @thadacatalon were met with solid questions

In essence, the movie is much like Sister Batista, earnest, open, and impossible not to root for. Regardless of your experience of the Catholic faith, the southern setting and abundance of mediocre yet confident white men (even our hero falls deep into this trope) reflect the injustice that permeates all of our society. We have not yet broken the “stained glass ceiling” nor have we broken many other glass ceilings (we could have seen more of Jane, the beleaguered female lawyer who chooses to abandon the fight too early) but as Sister Batista says, “this allows us to fight another day”.

Tveit is no stranger to the clergy; his brother Jon is a priest in Yonkers, New York. Here he is with the rest of the family at Aaron’s concert

And to those who find themselves torn between the laws of god and the rule of law, Tommy and Aly’s story reminds us that justice is at the heart of religion and civilization. Evangelism is not the sole province of a few, but everyone has a role to play in spreading the gospel of a better, more equal future.

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and TV Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.today, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board as a chief organizer of the Television Critics Association’s press tours, held twice a year in Beverly Hills and Pasadena. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and the Desert Aids Project, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been an active member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.