Drama. By Ira Hauptman.
Cast: 5m., 2w. In Starry Messenger we witness the effects of Galileo's ordeals on his family and his family's role in his decision to renounce his discoveries. Cardinals Borgia and Zacchia of the Inquisition warn Galileo not to try to prove that the earth revolves around the sun. Galileo's illegitimate son, Vincenzio, presses him to obey the church so he can be legitimized. Galileo's brilliant daughter Virginia, a nun, also urges him to obey the church. Nonetheless, he is determined to publish his discoveries. His daughter Livia, also a nun, seems to be possessed by demons. She has a vision of the destructive forces that science will unleash in the future, including the atom bomb. But Galileo remains committed to scientific truth. The Inquisition condemns him but will spare him if he recants. His protégé, Castelli, is certain he never will and encourages his death as a martyr. Virginia, dying, pleads with him to give her life meaning by recanting and returning to the church. He makes his fateful decision, sacrificing his science for his daughter. Galileo publicly recants but cries out that the earth does move. Area staging. Approximate running time: 90 minutes.