Medjugorje Film Surfaces After 54 Years – filmed 24 years before the ApparitionsNovember 28, 2011 No Comments
November 28, 2011 | MedjugorjeTodayTV
(By Jakob Marschner) - A documentary from 1957 shows the people of Medjugorje struggling to cultivate a land full of rocks. What kept them going was faith but since the film was captured during the reign of communism, neither Cross Mountain nor the old parish church are being shown. Poetic speaks and artful black & white photography add to a document of great historical value.
How did Medjugorje look 24 years before the apparitions began? How was life in what was then a remote, unknown village? And what did the parishioners live from before pilgrims started coming from throughout the world?
Many answers and clues are being given in writer/director Ivan Fogl’s documentary “Rocks and Earth”. Filmed in 1957, Fogl depicts a very hard-working people locked in constant struggle with their very living conditions, most notably with the massive, red-brown rocks hidden everywhere below the soil.
What the film does not show is how the parishioners treasured their faith and drew nourishment from it by a time when Yugoslavia was still under communist reign. Attending Mass was allowed but all religious gatherings were restricted to the churches and religion got all but promoted in the schools. And so Fogl’s movie shows neither Medjugorje’s old parish church, nor the massive white Cross erected by parishioners on top of Cross Mountain as early as 1933.
By a time when all of Hercegovina was repressed by the state authorities, Ivan Fogl’s script has lots of sympathy for the local people. Since it also has poetic qualities, the script has been arranged as a poem:
“Hercegovina, the land of stone.
The seeds break through it to produce scarce and hardworking life.
The wind bears life to stubborn plants.
Only a few oases of land like some kind of eyes gazing at life.
Traces of labourous human hands in the stone.
Wherever he could, man stole a piece of land from the stone.
He created fields on the steep hills, in the stream paths, under the stone walls.
He plucked the stone from the land and made borders for the stone to keep away from the land.
But the land bears stone, too, under the scorching sun and its shadows.
The rock and the sun decide what the lives of the men living there will be like.
Water is a treasure safeguarded in the stone.
The village and the houses are all made of stone, all the stalls, all the fences, all stone.
Working on the scarce land slowly stops as the sun goes down.
Yet, the hardworking hands still find no rest.
Already by the break of dawn, the village is awake and people go to work on the land.
The hands are crafty and swift, broken with the wind as the rock itself.
The man and the tobacco, resilient and strong. Both used to the hard rock and sun.
Tobacco means life to the Herzegovians, the rock and the sun is tobacco’s life.
It is strange: the land is quite the opposite of the stone, soft and loose.
Maybe you don’t have a lot of it but it returns in abundance all that was invested in it.
You have ants everywhere as a live and omnipresent symbol of persistence and work.
The men of this stone land are like ants.
Work with the tobacco goes on, day by day.
All the hands work, swiftly and restlessly, even if they are tired
or the fingers cramp with pain.
Tobacco is being sorted and prepared for the drying.
Stone around tobacco again, to protect the leaves from the strong winds.
Tobacco turns yellow under the sun, gets its colour and aroma.
When the tobacco dries up under the sun, the men take it up on the stone walls.
The sun is at its peak, the tobacco ripens.
People pluck its flowers to keep the strength in the roots.
While the sun is out, the working day is not through.
With a pick and a shovel, the men break the land and leave it to the sun to dry the plants in it.
Then the land turns even more loose and soft, easier to work on.
Stone everywhere, deep inside the land.
The battle between the stone and the men is ruthless for there are more stones than humans and they defy humans daily.
Year after year, the stone somehow appears in an already worked upon land as if it was alive.
If a man stops fighting to pull it out, the patch of land is soon overwhelmed with stones, and useless again.
The patches of land that were left look like graveyards, man’s hard work is buried there.
Where human hands stop, dry land appears.
Yet, the men till the land with their sweat thus making it fertile.”
Translations by Iva Jelic
Visit www.MedjugorjeToday.tv for all of the latest news from Medjugorje
Subscribe to MariaNews.com Today!
Tags: Apparition Hill, Apparitions of Mary, Bosnia film from the 1950's, catholic news, catholic world news, Cross Mountain, MariaNews.com, Medjugorje Film, medjugorje news, Visions of Our LadyCulture, News, Visions of Our Lady