Letters from Mother Teresa (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: drama, biography
Director: William Riead
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Duration: 114 minutes

Letters from Mother Teresa (DVD) – Movie Review

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Good: good acting, perspective of story telling
Bad: doesn't grab your attention, not a lot of details
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Mother Teresa was an example for the Catholic Church and humanity itself. She was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work to overcome poverty and distress. There are a lot of things done to honor her throughout the year, and William Riead thought it was time for another Mother Teresa movie so we definitely don’t forget about her.

letters from mother teresa

Letters from Mother Teresa starts off with a miracle. A tumor has magically disappeared from a patient her stomach and she claimed it was because of Mother Teresa, portrayed by Juliet Stevenson in this movie. In order to declare her as a saint, some things must be done like investigating her life, which is the task of Father Celeste van Exem (Max von Sydow). Letters from Mother Teresa tells the story of Mother Teresa over her lifetime, told in the perspective of Father Celeste van Exem, who was the friend and spiritual adviser from Mother Teresa.

The story starts with Mary Teresa when she was still a teacher in a convent in Loreto. She knew she wasn’t at place there and as she made a trip to a monastery to have seclusion, she gets a message from God. The message tells her to vie up her life inside of the convent and help the poor people living right outside the streets of the building. She must live with the poorest of the poorest, as a poor woman herself and aid them. This is something that has been lingering inside of her mind for years, but now she was finally called upon to do it.

Letters from Mother Teresa

Difficulty arises however as she can’t leave the convent very easily, so she decides to send a letter to the Vatican and seek for exclaustration, which she eventually gets. As she leaves the convent, Teresa desperately tries to gain the respect of the locals, which proves to be hard because a lot of them don’t want Christians inside of their village. After a lot of trying, the people start to accept her more and more, and she becomes a nurse for the whole village.

This does take its tole however, as Teresa was getting darker and darker thoughts, thinking that God had left her side. That wouldn’t let it stop her from helping the poor however, as students she used to teach now join her in her mission to mend the poor.

Letters from Mother Teresa

All in all, the story was pretty well done for someone who doesn’t know a lot about Mother Teresa. It doesn’t overload you with details or great information, but it serves as a nice entry point to her life, so people can easily grasp what she meant and what she gave up in her life. Since the movie is kind of a biography, but mostly drama, it doesn’t really have a lot of important characters. The whole story revolves around Mother Teresa and her spiritual father, who she wrote letters to throughout her life.

As for the choice of actors, Juliet Stevenson seems like a perfect fit for the role. She looks very convincing in the role and shows a lot of emotion in parts that were intense. Teresa also always looked and acted very sober, which was pretty much her way of living. All of the other actors like nurses, sisters from the convent, villagers, priests and more, were also pretty well done. There wasn’t a single odd character or acting performance in the movie, which is a great thing.

Apart from the movie itself which is about two hours long, the DVD also includes some behind the scenes material which is a short clip about the writer/director and Juliet Stevenson talking, which was a nice thing to add after such an emotional movie.


In conclusion, it’s to be said that Letters from Mother Teresa was a modest movie. It didn’t highlight a lot of things from Mother Teresa her life and also didn’t really provide any new information about her. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, describing her whole life would take a lot of movies, and leaving out details also helps to make the movie accessible for people who haven’t heard about her a lot.

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