Introducing a New Short Film: GIRARSI


As part a culminating activity for the grade 11 Communications-Technology course at Chaminade, students assembled in groups to create a 5-minute short film.

My group originally thought of an Italian Mafia-themed movie. However, the movie seemed to go beyond that theme, incorporating both mafia and Catholicism to the film.

Before I give any spoilers, take time to watch the film:

Short film website: 

The Director’s Commentary (please watch film before reading)

When the culminating activity was first explained with clear outlines, as mentioned before, the film was originally going to be an Italian Mafia movie, something like Good Fellas. However, a couple days later, I came across a 20-minute short film The Confession (with english subtitles) about the Sacrament of Confession. I really liked films with confessions like The Gran TurinoTherefore, I proposed to the team about a Mafia-confession theme.

I consulted with my parish priest on the film and in the end, to pay reverence to the very nature of the Sacrament of Confession, in which the priest cannot break the seal of confession and the secrecy of a confession, the film was only based on an examination of conscience before confession.

In this pontificate of Pope Francis, he has emphasized a lot about God’s mercy and the importance of confession. So much so, that he himself goes to confession in public every 40 Hours for Our Lord at St. Peter’s Basilica. Unfortunately, in a world where relativism is present, people believe they can do whatever they do because of the “belief of no absolute truth”. Therefore youth become hesitant to go to confession thinking, “If I do something wrong, oh well, God can forgive me… no need to see that priest”.

Sometimes, youth become unaware of God’s mercy, thinking that God is a man with a beard, sitting on throne waiting to punish the bad. Yet, that is not the case. Pope Francis emphasizes that “God is a merciful Father”, to the point that the he laid out a whole Jubilee Year with the theme of mercy, with the motto, “Merciful like the Father” (cf. Lk 6:36). Since going to Steubenville Toronto in 2016, I’ve heard “O Come to the Altar” several times, just loving that line, “O, come to the altar, the Father’s arms are open wide”. Literally, Girarsi pulls the viewer to the altar. God is always there with his arms open wide for us, no matter how big our sins may be.

The drug smuggling – may be a disturbing fact for some people. This is a reality of peer pressure for many youth in society. In order to be “liked” by their peers, some teens have to take so called, “risks”. However, I have learned that one should just be themselves, don’t try to be a person whom you are not meant to be. If you need help, seek it as soon as possible.

I recently showed this film to some of my friends at my Parish and many liked it. For the younger audience (below high school age) seemed a bit scared of the use of the gun shots in the film, especially with the plot twist where Anthony is shot just as he leaves the church. However, the death of both teens in the film is a depiction of the effect of sin. The ultimate consequence of sin is death. One sin leads to another: Anthony accepts the mission to deliver the illegal drug. He couldn’t complete the task that day and therefore pulls one of his peers into an occasion of sin and the chain reaction of sin worsens to the point of deaths (literally).

While struggling to find a title for a film, myself along with some team members were playing around with Google Translate. Taking into consideration the plot and plot twists in the film, I typed in “turn around” and translated it into Italian and the term, “girarsi” came up and immediately gained the whole group’s approval. In this case, Girarsi may bear two meanings. First is a literal meaning in which one pulls someone else into death, and death comes back to haunt oneself. However, Girarsi bears a second meaning, a theological meaning. When one sins, they can go even further in a state of sin. One also has the choice to regret what they have done and turn around to God, the merciful Father and be forgiven because in the words of Pope Francis, “The Lord never tires of forgiving”.

This is simply my reflection in Girarsi. Feel free to leave your comments indicating any improvements or commentaries on this short film.



About Vincent Pham

Vincent is a humanities student of the University of Toronto’s Trinity College of the Faculty of Arts and Science. He hopes to pursue a double major in Ethics, Law and Society, and Philosophy.
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