Sister Rose's Passion

Watch Sister Rose's Passion

  • NR
  • 2006
  • 39 min
  • 6.9  (109)

Sister Rose's Passion is a thought-provoking documentary that delves into the life and work of Sister Rose Thering, a Roman Catholic nun whose influential efforts helped reshape the Catholic Church's relations with Jews. The film, released in 2004 and directed by Oren Jacoby, offers an engaging and insightful look into Sister Rose’s relentless fight against anti-Semitism and her pivotal role in the historic transformation brought about by the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.

With a runtime of just under an hour, Sister Rose's Passion combines historical footage, personal interviews, and narration to weave a compelling story of activism, education, and faith. At its core, it chronicles Sister Rose’s scholarly endeavors that culminated in a doctoral dissertation, which challenged the anti-Semitic teachings within Catholic education. Her research had a significant impact on the drafting of the document Nostra Aetate, which was a declaration passed during the Second Vatican Council that redefined the Church's doctrine regarding Jews and other religions.

Sister Rose, born into a family of Polish immigrants in Plain, Wisconsin, in 1920, entered religious life early on with a keen sense of justice and a firm belief in the power of education. As viewers are guided through her life story, the documentary unveils her evolution from a simple nun teaching in a parochial school to a highly respected and dedicated scholar, whose work extended far beyond the academic realm.

Through in-depth interviews with Sister Rose herself, as well as with her colleagues, students, and those influenced by her legacy, the documentary paints a portrait of a woman who, despite the limitations imposed by her gender and her status within the Church hierarchy, rose to become an outspoken advocate for Jewish-Catholic dialogue. Sister Rose's vivid accounts of her experiences, combined with heartfelt testimonials, give the film an intimate feel and allow the audience to truly appreciate her remarkable character and tenacity.

The film also does not shy away from examining the deep-rooted anti-Semitic sentiment that was prevalent within elements of the Church and broader society during the time Sister Rose began her work. It contextualizes the climate of the era, showing archival footage that transports viewers back to the alarming realities of World War II, the horrors of the Holocaust, and the post-war period during which Sister Rose launched her mission for change.

Moreover, Sister Rose's Passion explores the influential role of Sister Rose within the context of the civil rights movement, highlighting parallels between her struggle for Jewish equality and the broader quest for social justice in the United States. In essence, Sister Rose emerges as a figure not only concerned with theological correctness but also as one actively engaged in the political and social issues of her time.

The film is skillfully crafted, balancing academic rigor with emotional resonance. It sheds light on the intricacies of Church dogma and the complex nature of interfaith relations without becoming mired in jargon or inaccessible theological debates. Instead, it maintains a clear narrative trajectory that underscores the universal message of understanding and acceptance that Sister Rose championed.

Furthermore, Sister Rose's Passion serves to remind viewers of the perils of bigotry and the importance of confronting and correcting hateful ideologies. It does so by illustrating the positive ripple effects that one determined individual can have – with Sister Rose's legacy still felt today in the continued efforts towards religious tolerance and the promotion of Holocaust education.

Critically acclaimed, Sister Rose's Passion was honored with numerous awards and nominations, including the Best Documentary Short at the Tribeca Film Festival and an Academy Award nomination. Its impact and relevance are enduring, providing educational institutions and interfaith organizations with a powerful tool to promote dialogue and understanding.

Through its portrayal of Sister Rose Thering, the documentary becomes not just a historical account but also a beacon of hope and inspiration. It challenges viewers to reflect on their own prejudices and to consider the ways in which they can contribute to a more inclusive and compassionate society. Sister Rose’s unwavering commitment to her cause, despite obstacles and resistance, is a testament to the profound difference a single voice can make when raised in the service of justice and truth.

Sister Rose's Passion remains an important work for those interested in the evolution of religious thought, the history of Jewish-Christian relations, and the extraordinary impact that one person can have in the fight against intolerance. The legacy of Sister Rose Thering, as depicted in this documentary, serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring need for education, understanding, and activism in the quest for peace and mutual respect among people of all faiths.

Sister Rose's Passion is a 2006 documentary with a runtime of 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9.

Where to Watch Sister Rose's Passion
Sister Rose's Passion is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV. Some platforms allow you to rent Sister Rose's Passion for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (109)