This movie, a retelling of the conversion and spiritual journey of Archbishop Romero amidst the Salvadoran civil conflict, is notable for a couple of reasons. First, the movie (unlike Ebert's review--I declare, given other reviews on movies with religious topics, I wonder if he is religiously tone deaf) is remarkable for showing shades of gray in this conflict. The Jesuits are good, but some tend toward violence. The guerillas have just cause, but their actions are morally evil. Some military and government officials are trapped in an evil system and try to do the right thing...but it isn't ebough to stop the massacre of civilians. The Salvadoran bishops are conflicted. And Romero himself is slow to see the horror of what is happening all around him. Lots of gray....
Second, The movie doesn't try to retell the Salvadoran conflict, although it does a good job in distilling a complex situation honestly and with power. Instead, this movie is about how Romero learns a new Christianity--or how to apply his old Christianity to a desperately evil and tangled situation.
I have shown this in classes (college level) and it is always received with awe. People are shocked, moved, and inspired. It is worth seeing.
Warning: the film is very violent, although it is violence used to tell a true story.
violence and nonviolence
morals, economics, and politics