Abuna Messia (1939)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Propaganda Film, Religious Drama  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |  
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Abuna Messias (Cardinal Messias) features Camillo Pilotta in the title role. Designed as propaganda to justify Italy's recent invasion of Ethiopia, the film details the efforts of the Franciscan Monks to spread Christianity among the Ethiopian Melenik tribe. On the verge of total success, Cardinal Messias is challenged by Abuna Atansio (Mario Ferrari), spiritual leader of the tribal Coptic church. Hostilities develop into open warfare, with Atansio urging Ethiopian chieftan Negus Johannes (Ippolito Silvestri) to decimate the Meleniks and their Franciscan brethren. It is perhaps not surprising that Abuna Messias was the 1940 winner of the Mussolini Cup award.

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Keywords

Cardinal, Christianity, war