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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

The Debt

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

"The Debt" is a U.S. version of the 2007 Israeli film "Ha-Hov." It tells the story of three young Mossad agents (played by Jessica Chastain as Rachel, Marton Csokas as Stefan, and Sam Worthington as David and later by Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciarán Hinds) who are sent to East Berlin to capture a Nazi war criminal, Dieter Vogel (Jesper Christensen) and bring him to Israel to stand trial for war crimes.
 
They succeed in capturing him but he escapes after a very tense and dangerous effort to sneak him out of the city. Stefan convinces Rachel and David to agree to tell their superiors that they killed Vogel. They agree. Stefan and Rachel marry while David resigns from the Mossad and disappears – only to return.
 
“The Debt” is an interesting title. Whose debt is it? The three spies who lie are indebted to the truth? Vogel must pay his debt to humanity for his crimes?
 
Ultimately, the toll taken on Rachel and David in particular, is too much to bear and each, in their own way, resolve a dilemma that Stefan takes in his stride, as long as it does not reveal that he is amoral. Or is he a patriot?
 
This is a very provocative film and though the subject explores the deepest and darkest recesses of the human heart and our own inhumanity to one another, the film has substance, it is interesting and extremely well acted and directed.


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Wolfgang of Regensburg: Wolfgang was born in Swabia, Germany, and was educated at a school located at the abbey of Reichenau. There he encountered Henry, a young noble who went on to become Archbishop of Trier. Meanwhile, Wolfgang remained in close contact with the archbishop, teaching in his cathedral school and supporting his efforts to reform the clergy. 
<p>At the death of the archbishop, Wolfgang chose to become a Benedictine monk and moved to an abbey in Einsiedeln, now part of Switzerland. Ordained a priest, he was appointed director of the monastery school there. Later he was sent to Hungary as a missionary, though his zeal and good will yielded limited results. </p><p>Emperor Otto II appointed him Bishop of Regensburg near Munich. He immediately initiated reform of the clergy and of religious life, preaching with vigor and effectiveness and always demonstrating special concern for the poor. He wore the habit of a monk and lived an austere life. </p><p>The draw to monastic life never left him, including the desire for a life of solitude. At one point he left his diocese so that he could devote himself to prayer, but his responsibilities as bishop called him back. </p><p>In 994 Wolfgang became ill while on a journey; he died in Puppingen near Linz, Austria. He was canonized in 1052. His feast day is celebrated widely in much of central Europe. </p> American Catholic Blog Keep your gaze always on our most beloved Jesus, asking him in the depths of his heart what he desires for you, and never deny him anything even if it means going strongly against the grain for you. –Blessed Maria Sagrario of St. Aloysius Gonzaga

 
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