There have been a good number of films about Saint Mother Teresa, some feature films, some documentaries, but this new one, "Mother Teresa & Me" looks at the life of Mother Teresa from the perspective of the continuing affect her life and work have to inspire people as they go through their own life struggles.
The film comes to theaters for one night only on October 5th. For more information or tickets, please go to the film's Fathom Events page here.
Kavita (Banita Sandhu), born in Kolkata but raised in London, England, aspires to be a professional violinist. Leaving a venue where she's performed one night, she gets hit by a car. In the hospital, she finds out she's pregnant, but when she tells her boyfriend, Paul (Jack Gordon), he runs.
With an injury to her arm and unable to play for a few weeks, she avoids her parents (Shobu Kapoor and Ranjit Krishnamma), who are trying to set her up with an Indian boy, and decides to visit a family friend, Deepali (Deepti Naval) in Kolkata. It's a trip that will change her life.
Banita Sandhu as Kavita in "Mother Teresa & Me." © 2023 Myriad Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Parallel to Kavita's story, Mother Teresa's (Jacqueline Fritschi-Cornaz) story is also told, focusing on the spiritual darkness she experienced for much of her adult life. Even as she went about the beginnings of her work with the poorest of the poor, gained followers and helped so many, she experienced profound doubt that God was with her and blessing her work.
At one point in the story, Kavita starts reading a book given to her by Deepali about Mother Teresa and the spiritual darkness she experienced. Deepali even took her to volunteer at the Missionaries of Charity "House of the Dying" in Kolkata. At first, Kavita is uncomfortable around the dying men and women, but as she reads Mother's story and grows closer to one patient, she begins to see her own difficulties in a different light.
Jacqueline Fritschi-Cornaz as Mother Teresa in "Mother Teresa & Me." © 2023 Myriad Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Mother Teresa & Me should be able to hold its own alongside other films about this great saint but the inclusion of Kavita's story means that neither plot line gets the full attention it deserves. Fritschi-Cornaz's portrayal of Mother, while capturing her determination, made her seem angry most of the time.
As a communicator, I was impressed by the way spiritual reading was brought into the story. Published in 2007, "Come Be My Light" brought to light for the first time, through Mother's letters to her spiritual director, the void she felt in her soul where God should have been. It was reading this book, that inspired the fictional Kavita to make the decisions she did.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola's conversion happened while he was reading the life of Jesus and the lives of the saints during a period of convalescence. Spiritual reading, from the Bible, lives of the saints, or other spiritual writers, feeds our minds and our souls and can inspire us to live better lives, even as we experience the trials and tribulations of our lives. What spiritual reading are you being called to pick up at this moment in your life?