The Letters

Synopsis: A drama that explores the life of Mother Teresa through letters she wrote to her longtime friend and spiritual advisor, Father Celeste van Exem over a nearly 50-year period.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): William Riead
Production: Freestyle Releasing
  1 win.
 
IMDB:
5.9
Metacritic:
25
Rotten Tomatoes:
28%
PG
Year:
2014
114 min
$1,053,288
Website
441 Views


1

(choir singing in foreign language)

(choir continues)

(chattering, faint)

(man speaking Italian)

A beam of light came from the picture.

I felt no pain.

The tumor was here.

(chuckles)

But it's gone.

MAN (on radio):
The Canadian prime minister

visited Britain today

and, after a stop-off at Parliament,

had tea in the afternoon with the queen

at Buckingham Palace.

Tomorrow, he heads to Montreal.

In other news, the Vatican

has recognized as a miracle

the healing of a tumor in the abdomen

of an Indian Woman named Monica Besra

following the application of a locket

containing Mother Teresa's picture.

The spokesman in Rome said it was

the first of two verified miracles

needed before Mother Teresa

can be canonized a saint.

(speaking Italian)

This darkness she felt,

that she wrote about,

apparently began back in '48

about the time she began

her work with the poor.

It Went on for pretty much

the last 50 years of her life.

MAN:
She had been working

with the poor for two years

when this picture was taken.

(clears throat)

The sadness of the work

had taken its toll on her-

an untold darkness,

loneliness,

a continual longing for God.

She had this feeling

that God had abandoned her.

And except for me and a few other priests-

and of course the Archbishop of Calcutta,

Ferdinand Prier-

no one knew about her feeling of isolation.

(clears throat)

Can I get you something, Ben?

No, no.

Not a thing, Father.

You see, What would pain me the most

was her feeling

that there was ho God in her.

That's the Way she would put it.

And she would say

her longing was so strong

that it felt to her like torture.

It seemed as if there was nothing

I could do to help her.

This picture was taken

Where Mother Teresa taught.

It was taken in 1946.

I keep it here because it reminds me

of Where it all began.

- Can I take a closer look?

- Sure.

(chuckles)

- And that's the school?

- Yes.

It has quite a history.

Can you tell me a little more

about the school

and the time that she was there?

Well, her years at Loreto teaching,

it was Wonderful years for her.

She would say

she loved teaching most of all.

Her life would later

be totally dedicated to the poor,

but she was first and foremost a teacher.

WOMAN:

People have been suffering.

And this starvation, hmm?

This starvation has brought thousands

of refugees onto the streets of our city.

Really, we are living through

one of the most turbulent times

in the history of Calcutta.

Shubashini.

My mother says she is

very, very frightened.

There are riots going on outside my house.

I feel safe here inside the convent walls,

but I'm really Worried

about my mother and my family.

Well, it's true

that these tensions have got worse

since India is preparing for independence.

This has created the violence,

but it is between the Hindus and Muslims.

It really has nothing to do

with your family.

I don't really think you have to worry.

But I'm still scared, Sister.

Well, try not to be, hmm?

This will all resolve itself soon,

we hope-we pray.

- (bell ringing)

- Right. We must finish.

Sister, do you have a minute?

Yes, Deepa.

(sighs)

Sister, aren't you worried?

No. Trust in God, Deepa.

He's watching over us.

Sister, but my father says

that the Christians in India are a minority

and anything can happen to them,

given what's been going on.

That's why my father wants me to stay here,

inside the walls of the convent grounds-

so that I'm safe here-

and not return home until all this is over.

Hmm. Well, he's quite right.

I agree with him.

You are safe here, hmm?

But if you have any more questions,

you can always talk to Father Van Exem.

- Hmm?

- Okay

In the meantime, try not to worry.

Hmm?

Sister.

Thank you.

Thank you, Sister.

(chattering)

Someone sick, Sister?

No.

Do you Want me

to take some food to their room?

No. I'll take care of it.

Thank you, Sister.

(loud chattering)

(chattering)

(shouts)

What are you doing out here, Sister?

It's hot safe for you to be out here.

These people are hungry, desperate.

You need to get back inside the convent.

But I Wanted to take

these people some food.

Yes, yes.

(shouts)

Sister, last week, for three clays,

Hindus and Muslims rampaged

through a neighborhood hot far from here.

They killed anyone they found

on the opposite side.

(shouts)

The troops had to restore order.

You cannot come out here again, Sister.

Do you understand?

You need to get back inside the convent.

Please pray that peace will be restored.

Yes, I will pray. Thank you.

Please, go to the convent, Sister.

Is everything all right, Sister?

Yes, Mother General.

I heard you Went outside

the convent this morning.

Yes.

Yes, I Wanted to give food

to a family that is hungry.

I'm sorry. I know I should not go outside.

When you returned,

you were troubled, I am told.

Are you sure you're all right?

Yes, thank you.

But to tell truth, Mother General,

I keep thinking about

those people out there.

I see them from my classroom window.

I Want to help.

But there are so many of them.

You can't help them all.

But we can help some.

I feel ashamed not at least to try.

They're very, very hungry.

They have nothing.

Our vocation is to teach young girls.

That is our calling, Sister.

My mother reminded me of my calling.

"Dearest daughter,

Do not forget you Went out there

to help the poor."

What are you saying, Sister Teresa?

I don't know.

I love teaching. I love being a nun.

But I must do something.

Surely God must love the poor

outside these walls

as much as he loves

privileged girls inside the walls.

I believe you're going on a retreat

in the next few days.

Yes.

I will ask God What I am to do.

(horn blows)

(man on speakers, faint)

I think I'll take this one.

Tell-Tell Mother General not to worry.

Have a restful retreat, Sister Teresa.

God be with you.

Thank you. God bless you.

(engine hissing)

(horn blowing)

VAN EXEM:
It was on this train,

en route to Darjeeling,

that she had a life-changing moment.

She received What she took

as a message from God

to go serve the poorest of the poor

and live among them.

She referred to it

as the call Within a call-

to give up everything

and to follow him into the slums.

And she said she knew it was his will,

that she had to do it.

But it would have to be

the decision of the church.

MOTHER GENERAL:
What do you mean

you heard the voice of God?

I heard a voice on the train.

It was not audible,

but was very clear, direct.

It told me that I must leave

the solace of the convent

and give my life to serve the poor,

to live among the poor.

It was a command

that I must follow Christ into the slums

and serve him by sewing

the poorest of the poor.

You seem to have forgotten the vows

you took as a cloistered nun, Sister.

Among the vows was poverty, chastity

and obedience.

Yes, I know, Mother General.

But I also know it is his will,

and I have to follow him.

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William Riead

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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