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’1913: Seeds of Conflict’ seeks to explain source of Israeli-Palestinian tensions

 This comprehensive and compact docudrama premiering tonight on PBS (10pm), “1913: Seeds of Conflict” reveals little known facts that conflated to become what writer/director Ben Loeterman proposes as the root causes for today’s ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians. Almost a half million Muslims, 60,000 Christians and 20,000 Sephardic (i.e. Mediterranean) Jews lived together peacefully enough in the years before World War I when Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire an … [Read More...]

Eric Johnston as Batman and Miles Scott as Batkid in "Batkid Begins." (Warner Bros. Entertainment Co.)

‘Batkid Begins’ – a wish with a life of its own

As news of the terrible shootings at the AME Church in Charleston, S.C., broke Wednesday, a couple hundred people were gathered at the Landmark Theater on Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles for the premiere of the documentary film “Batkid Begins.” “Batkid Begins” is the epitome of what a great community that America can be and is, the antithesis of the havoc a lone mass shooter wreaked on a group of people studying the Bible in their church.“Batkid” is Miles Scott, a little boy from a small town in No … [Read More...]

‘Jurassic World’ – No dinosaurs with pink feathers, but questionable ethics

 Below is the feature article I wrote on the science and philosophy in "Jurassic World" but I want to add a couple of things. First, the engineering science of Dallas Bryce Howard's high heeled shoes ought to have been mentioned. She wore them throughout and I think she even walked … [Read More...]

‘Flannery O’Connor: Faith Fired by Fiction’ my book review

 “Flannery O’Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith”By Angela Alaimo O’DonnellLiturgical Press, 2015Paperback, 138 pages$12.95 My copy of “Flannery O’Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith” by Fordham University English professor Angela Alaimo O’Donnell arrived a few days ago an … [Read More...]

‘Forbidden Films’ the hidden legacy of Nazi films

  This documentary from Germany explores the dilemma of censorship about a cache of about 40 Nazi feature films (out of 1200 made between 1933 and 1944) that are not available to the German public to see. It will be shown in Los Angeles June 1 and 2 at six Laemmle … [Read More...]

High-octane ‘San Andreas’ tells audiences to be prepared

Ray (Dwayne Johnson) is a Los Angeles firefighter who heads a team of helicopter rescuers. Not long after saving a girl whose car is resting on a canyon cliff, the world seems about to end: San Andreas, Calif.'s main north-south earthquake fault line is triggered by a series of quakes around Hoover … [Read More...]

‘Marie’s Story’ captures life’s sacramental dimensions

In 1899, when deaf and blind Marie Heurtin is 14 years old, her loving father brings her from the family farm to the Larnay Institute near Poitiers, France, run by the Daughters of Wisdom. The young girl, played by Ariana Rivoire in the film "Marie's Story," extends her face and hands to the warm … [Read More...]

‘The Messengers’ is like a Christian zombie movie for the small screen

 The rapture is coming -- again. A new television series, "The Messengers," premieres at 9 p.m./8 p.m. Central today, April 17, on The CW because "the wheels of Revelation have begun to turn." The end is near, and "angels" or Messengers, have appeared.The Messengers are five select … [Read More...]

Neither faith nor magic saves ‘Little Boy’ from its muddled message

I imagine that the writers of "Little Boy," Pepe Portillo and Alejandro Monteverde, who also directs, wanted to make a sweet film about faith and the love between a father and his son. They surely wanted audiences to see life through a Catholic lens when they crafted this highly structured, … [Read More...]


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