The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara

Release date:TBD

Studio:N/A

Director:Steven Spielberg

MPAA Rating:N/A

Screenwriter:

Starring:Mark Rylance, Oscar Isaac

Genre:Drama, Biography

Plot Summary:

Steven Spielberg will direct star Mark Rylance, who will play Pope Pius IX in the 1997 novel by David Kertzer, officially described as follows:

Bologna, 1858: A police squad, acting on the orders of the Inquisitor, invades the home of a Jewish merchant, Momolo Mortara, wrenches his crying six-year-old son from his arms, and rushes him off in a carriage bound for Rome. His mother is so distraught that she collapses and has to be taken to a neighbor’s house, but her weeping can be heard across the city. With this terrifying scene — one that would haunt this family forever — David I. Kertzer begins his fascinating investigation of the dramatic kidnapping, and shows how this now obscure saga would eventually contribute to the collapse of the Church’s temporal power in Italy. As Edgardo’s parents desperately search for a way to get their son back, they learn why he–out of all their eight children–was taken. Years earlier, the family’s Catholic serving girl, fearful that the infant might die of an illness, had secretly baptized him (or so she claimed). Edgardo recovered, but when the story reached the Bologna Inquisitor, the result was his order for Edgardo to be seized and sent to a special monastery where Jews were converted into good Catholics. The Inquisitor’s justification for taking the child was based in Church teachings: No Christian child could be raised by Jewish parents.