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4. The Miracle (1948)

Director Roberto Rossellini faced harsh criticism with his 1948 Italian release Il Miracolo (The Miracle). The Catholic Cinematographic Center—arm of the Vatican focused on vetting movies for moral propriety—took great issue with the film, though it was not banned. The Catholic Church’s Legion of Decency labeled the film a “blasphemous mockery of Christian-religious truth,” and suspended the Paris Theater from showing it. Why all the fuss? The film portrayed a peasant woman who believes that she is the Virgin Mary. After being plied with alcohol and raped, she becomes pregnant and as she does not remember the experience, decides that it is a miraculous conception.

The Miracle

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