Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999)

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Movie Info

Based on the true story of a priest who risked his life in order to help people no one else would touch (a wager he would eventually lose), Father Damien stars David Wenham as the titular Belgian saint. In 1872, Damien, a young Catholic priest serving as a missionary near Hawaii, volunteers to spend three months working in a colony for victims of leprosy on the island of Molokai. When he arrives, he discovers the lepers have been herded to a barely inhabitable part of the island where they're treated like animals. Damien is shocked, and makes it his crusade to improve the lives of the lepers, planting trees to help buffer the island's strong winds and building huts to house the sicker members of the tribe. Damien also concerns himself with their spiritual needs, restoring a sense of dignity and self-respect among the diseased and urging them away from drinking, sex, and other sinful behavior. At first, Damien's pleas to the mainland for medicine, supplies, and medical help fall on deaf ears, but soon the press picks up on Damien's story -- which only angers the Hawaiian government, who would prefer the plight of the lepers be forgotten. Damien is destined to spend the last years of his life on Molokai when he contacts the disease himself, working to ease the pain of his fellow victims to his last breath. Father Damien boasts a star-studded supporting cast, including Sam Neill, Peter O'Toole, Leo McKern, Kris Kristofferson, and Derek Jacobi.
  • Rating:
    PG (for thematic elements, some violence, brief sensuality and mild language)
  • Genre:
  • Directed By:
  • Written By:
  • In Theaters:
     wide
  • On DVD:
  • Runtime:
  • Studio:
    Unapix Entertainment

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Cast

David Wenham
as Father Damien
Sam Neill
as Walter Murray Gibson
Derek Jacobi
as Father Leonor Fouesnel
Kris Kristofferson
as Rudolph Meyer
Thom Hoffman
as Dr. William Saxe
Kate Ceberano
as Princess Liliuokalani
Jan Decleir
as Monsignor Kockemann
Peter O'Toole
as William Williamson
Alice Krige
as Mother Marianne Cope
Leo McKern
as Bishop Maigret
Michaël Pas
as Prof. Stottard
Dirk Roofthooft
as Father Conrardy
Tom Wilkinson
as Brother Dutton
Aden Young
as Dr. Kalewis
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Critic Reviews for Molokai: The Story of Father Damien

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

The edifying, at times wrenching story of the 19th-century 'Apostle to the Lepers'… an inspiring, challenging depiction of Christian service and charity.

Full Review… | November 3, 2003
Decent Films Guide

"Molokai is a stirring and humbling film that you will never forget."

Full Review… | June 15, 2002
Urban Cinefile

I am glad I saw it, even if I was not entertained.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Molokai: The Story of Father Damien

Stunning cinema and a story that deserves to be captured on film. Truly memorable.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

A truly inspirational Catholic film, but it falls short of greatness due to inconsistent pacing and forced Catholic messages.

A Lai
A Lai

Deeply disturbing, depressing and yet full of beauty and redemption.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith

Super Reviewer

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