“Face of the Faceless”: Film about Indian martyr Blessed Rani Maria
A new film has hit the silver screen to showcase the life and legacy of Blessed Rani Maria, a religious sister in India who gave her life to help people on the margins of society.
“Face of the Faceless” was released on 13 November in India, depicting the story of Blessed Rani Maria FCC, born Mariam Vattalil.
Pope Francis cleared the Indian nun’s cause for beatification on 23 March 2017, and she was declared ‘Blessed’ on 4 November 2017.
The “Face of the Faceless” movie depicts the nun’s story and her work to advocate for the betterment of humanity. The over two-hour-long film enjoys a wide cast of actors from across 16 states in India.
The film is not about religion: it’s about Sr. Rani Maria’s work, as she served individuals in deplorable conditions. It speaks of the truth of exploitation which still exists among marginalized people.
Sr. Rani Maria lived among a marginalized community in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, where she sought to provide people with sustainable living amenities, employment, and education. The village proudly remembers her as “Indore Ki Rani”, meaning ‘’Queen of Indore’’.
She was a woman who rose above the boundaries of religion, realized the universal oneness and committed her life for the empowerment of women, and did it all with a smile ever on her face.
She was martyred by Samander Singh, but the story did not end there. Her family forgave her murderer, even after his heinous crime, and accepted him as their own brother. Their forgiveness imparts a message of radical forgiveness which seeks to embrace our differences.
The film was released in the Indian national language of Hindi first and then dubbed in Malayalam. It is currently available dubbed in French and Spanish at DBIMA, according to the Director.
The film has received widespread accolades and awards from national and international film societies. Reviews and videos have reached a remarkable amount in the short time since its release.
According to one film critic, “In a world often dominated by noise and chaos, ‘Sister Rani Maria: A Journey of Unwavering Devotion’ shines a light on the untold stories of individuals who have chosen a path of selfless sacrifice and unwavering devotion.”
During the General Audience on 22 November 2023, the film’s Director, Shaison P. Ouseph, and Producer, Sandra D’souza Rana, were introduced to Pope Francis.
They told him briefly about their newly-released film “Face of the Faceless”, and invited the Pope to watch it, asking for his blessings for the success of the film.
Sr. Denin David Chiriyankandath