Pink Smoke Over The Vatican
“Pink Smoke Over the Vatican” is a multiple award-winning documentary film about the controversial movement of women being ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic Church.
On June 3, 2008, The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the modern name for The Holy Office of the Inquisition, issued a sweeping order of excommunication for “the crime of attempting sacred ordination of a woman.” “Pink Smoke Over the Vatican” chronicles the events that led up to this severe punishment and tells the stories of the determined women and men who, through the forbidden and illicit path of female ordination, are working to end the underlying misogyny and outdated feudal governance that many believe is slowly destroying the Roman Catholic Church.
“Pink Smoke Over the Vatican” explores the complex ethical choices made by the women who are painfully discerning the difference between man’s law and God’s law. Their struggles encompass both the internal battles wrought by going against the Church they love as well as the external battles with the Church hierarchy, centuries-long tradition, police, and the rampant prejudice that still prevails against women in positions of power. But when viewing this film, it is the impression that all have been undeniably touched by spirit that is certain to move both Catholics and the general public alike.
The producer and director of “Pink Smoke Over The Vatican,” Jules Hart, is the founder of Eye Goddess Films. Hart’s work has aired on PBS and shown at numerous festival venues. Her films have covered a wide variety of topics including storefront churches, Latina healers, drumming as a spiritual practice, and art as a vehicle for healing.
Ms. Hart took on this project after being approached by a woman who was seeking ordination. Hart, a non-Catholic, was initially unaware of the challenges and struggles facing these brave women but felt this was a story that needed telling. She was stunned by the Church’s attitudes and rampant gender discrimination.
“I’ve been a feminist and activist for a long time, but making this film certainly reinvigorated my commitment to women’s issues,” said Hart. “I realized that there is still an enormous amount of work to be done.” Hart has lectured at Antioch University, Whittier College, and at UCLA, her alma mater, on topics such as Film and Folklore, Women in the Arts, and Women and Religion.
“Pink Smoke Over The Vatican” has received eight awards including Best Documentary at the 2010 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, and Best Faith-Based Film and Best Female Filmmaker at the 2010 AOF international Film Festival in Pasadena, CA. It was also screened as an official selection at eight festivals during 2010 and 2011 including the19th Annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, the Carmel Art and Film Festival, and the Athena Film Festival at Barnard College in New York. The film also had a short theatrical run at the Orinda and Balboa Theatres in the SF Bay Area and screened at a parallel session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in February of 2011. On April 2, 2012, “Pink Smoke Over The Vatican” will screen at Michael Moore’s Monday Night Documentary Film Series at the State Theatre in Traverse City, Michigan.