St. Peter’s Episcopal Church invites the congregation and public to a free showing and discussion of the 1989 film “Romero” Wednesday, July 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the church fellowship hall at 11 White St.

The film depicts the life of Archbishop Óscar Romero, who organized peaceful protests against the violent military regime of El Salvador, eventually at the cost of his own life.

The film stars Raul Julia as Romero and Richard Jordan as Romero's close friend and fellow martyred priest, Rutilio Grande, as well as Ana Alicia and Harold Gould. “Romero” was the first feature film from Paulist Pictures, a company founded by the Paulist Fathers; the company also is known for the production of a long-standing television series “Insight.” The film, which was screened in 1989 at the Toronto International Film Festival, was directed by Australian filmmaker John Duigan and produced by Paulist Pictures founder Father Ellwood (Bud) Kieser.

In the late 1970s, El Salvador was ruled by a corrupt, totalitarian government that maintained power by sending firing squads to gun down opposition groups, including labor organizations and human rights activists. Assassinations, executions and disappearances became commonplace throughout the country.

When the Vatican elevated conservative Oscar Arnulfo Romero to Archbishop of the El Salvador Catholic church, the military rulers believed he would pose no threat but would instead quiet the rioting masses through his speeches on nonviolence. Julia portrays Romero as a reasonable, thoughtful man, slow to anger and willing to see both sides, but also as a man ultimately led to speak out against injustice.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own box supper or snacks; coffee will be provided. “Romero” is part of the ongoing first Wednesday night film/discussion series sponsored by St. Peter’s, the red-shingled church downtown between Rockland Public Library and the Rec Center. For more information, call 594-8191.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or