Earlier today in my English class we were watching a documentary called “The Burning Times” which is about paganism (witchcraft more specifically) and the inquisition. Our teacher wanted us to watch it because witchcraft has something to do with the book Macbeth, which we’re about to read soon. I must say… I was floored by this movie. We only got through about half an hour of the film and I was so angry by the things I had seen in this movie. For some reason, I couldn’t help but feel as though this 90s movie had an underlying feminist agenda, seeing as how the movie portrayed the evil “Church of Rome” as tyrants who burned people at the stake for being witches and forced them to confess sins or else be killed. It was so preposterous that I felt compelled to write down what I had witnessed in the movie.
Here are the things I wrote down:
- Inquisitor = torturer according to documentary
- So called Jesuit priest saying that the Church is evil and that Catholics should be reproached instead of pagans
- Enclosure in the “iron maiden” as a means of punishment
- Women’s hair braded having something to do with men’s fate?
- Witches get the hair on their head and their pubic hair shaved just for being witches?
- Joan of Arc supposedly persecuted by the Church and then made a saint by the Church itself?
- Gigantic rosary necklace as punishment for falling asleep in church
- The Church supposedly views sexuality as a thing of evil and not a gift
- Church teaches that women are evil and are the gateway to hell?
- Catholic Church solely blames witches for all of their problems?
- Witch hunts were supposedly a business in which the Catholic Church charged witches of being witches for monetary gain
- Church suspects women who own property as evil?
- Witch hunt campaigns organized by the Church
- Forced confessions by the inquisitors?
- 9 million women estimated to have been killed during the Inquisition period
- City of Trier in France (???) had 2 entire villages exterminated by inquisitors?
- Took the Church 200 years of terror and death to transform the image of paganism into devil worship (This in particular is what angered me the most)
This movie makes out the Catholic Church out to be some oppressive, misogynist, patriarchal institution only interested in money and killing all of those who oppose. I really couldn’t sit in my seat and watch all of what was being shown. I’m really not inclined to believe most of the things I’ve heard in this film, so does anyone have any opinions?