Roland Joffe knows his latest film will be controversial but says it is not meant as a response to "The Da Vinci Code," whose bad guys were members of the Opus Dei movement of the Roman Catholic Church.
Joffe is in Argentina directing a biopic of Opus Dei founder Jose Maria Escriva de Balaguer, who sided with Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War and allegedly spoke positively of Adolf Hitler. The church dismissed the controversies before Escriva was canonized as a saint.
Opus Dei is financing the film, "There Be Dragons," but Joffe said it isn't a propaganda project. Opus Dei members on the set said he has "creative space" to make the film he wants.
For The Record Los Angeles Times Thursday, August 27, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 3 inches; 102 words Type of Material: Correction Opus Dei film: A Quick Takes item in Tuesday's Calendar said that a film biography of Opus Dei founder Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, now shooting in Argentina, was being financed by the Catholic organization. The film's investors include Opus Dei members, but the organization itself is not funding the film, according to Opus Dei spokesman Brian Finnerty. The article also said the Roman Catholic Church dismissed the allegation that Escriva spoke positively of Adolf Hitler. It should have specified the source of the allegation -- former Opus Dei member Father Vladimir Feltzman -- and also noted Escriva's repeated condemnations of Nazi ideology.