The idea to realise a film, based on Maria Valtorta’s writings, flashed in the minds of lay and religious, who knew it through typed copies, and in 1948 were about to set up a publishing house (never accomplished) which could publish it. The Work was at that time still unpublished and had to be printed firstly to make it accessible to the reading public, as it was given to be read in its original version, not to be adapted into literary abridgements and stage performances.
Maria Valtorta did not want her Work to be turned into a film. It can be considered that she was against it for several reasons, but the declared reason was the assumption that no actor could have impersonated Jesus and no actress could have impersonated Mary Most Holy. Certainly Maria Valtorta was alluding not simply to the physical aspect of the two Characters, but to the superhuman aspect that illuminated all their physicality (gestures, voice, gaze) as it was revealed to her.
The proposal to turn the Work into a film, or other kind of plays, comes up from many fronts nowadays, as for over sixty years the Work has been circulating in print for the benefit of readers. The CEV (Centro Editoriale Valtortiano) has already published excerpts on specific topics, which refer the reader to the complete publication of the Work. The same reference can (and must) be made in every probable play, for which, however, Maria Valtorta’s reservation regarding the two divine Characters is always valid.
Making a film of the whole Work can be encouraged by Valtorta’s text, which already has the structure of a script to be performed, but it is always a colossal undertaking: the risk is to achieve a similar outcome of the film on the Sacred Bible, which was realised only the story of Moses. On the other hand, the project of bringing to the stage those characters who have their own story in the Work would be easier to implement, and also more effective. One can choose not only among well-known names, such as Mary of Magdala, but also among unknown ones, such as John of Endor and Syntyche, who do not appear in the Gospels, or one of the apostles who are only mentioned in the Gospels, such as Simon the Zealot, the first of mixed blood, from a life spent as a persecuted politician, and Andrew, silent and unsuspecting conqueror of souls.
In the experiential story of those characters and of the apostles, that experience the encounter with Jesus and Mary in Valtorta’s Gospel, the two divine Characters are already represented, and could appear on the scene making their physicality almost evanescent. Maria Valtorta would perhaps approve.
(translate by Donata Morelli)
Photo by MasterTux of Pixabay
Since a teenager I have always had a devotion to Valtorta’s works. Now almost 50, I am set to start artistically visualizing scenes and locations from the Poem. As a natural artist, I have always found it easy to visualize what she was writing. The planned projects will be to create in foam and plaster miniatures the Temple of Jerusalem, the cave of Bethlehem, the holy house in Nazareth, etc. For my own purposes too, about ten years ago, I had also adapted the first volume of the Poem as a screenplay, imagining that one day this unimaginable life of Christ could be made into film.
Thank you for all of your work in spreading Maria Valtorta’s ministry. God bless you.
Christopher Sampson, USA