‘Cries from Syria’: J’accuse! Airs tonight 3/13/17 HBO

The opening scene of Cries from Syria is of a two-year old baby laying dead on the sea shore, the rippled waves washing over him, because the boat bringing him to Europe capsized. This new HBO Documentary film (it premiered at Sundance in January) by Oscar and Emmy nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky premieres tomorrow night on television. The tragedy of the Al-Assad regime’s oppression and genocide is guaranteed to shock even an audience habituated to graphic war violence on television, in f … [Read more...]

‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ – true story coming soon

I'll be seeing the film next week; this information is from the publicist. The couple saved at least 300 Jews from death during World War II. Here's a description of the book from Wikipedia: The Zookeeper's Wife THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE - Synopsis In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh, a European Film Award nominee for the Academy Award-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown), have the War … [Read more...]

‘The Shack” – finding God in the dark

"The Shack," based on the 2007 best-selling novel by William P. Young, is now a major motion picture starring Sam Worthington and Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer. In wide release today, the film, in my humble opinion, far surpasses the novel. As anyone who reads my reviews knows, I am not a fan of the "Christian" genre, because most of those movies lead with a message rather than the story. I prefer to figure out what the movie means rather than sit in a theater as if it were a Sunday … [Read more...]

“The Shack” Hollywood Drama with a Catholic Touch

This is the cover of St. Anthony Messenger for March 2017 and here is the link to my storyThe Shack: Hollywood Drama with a Catholic Touch   … [Read more...]

Film Showcase at the LA Religious Education Congress 2017

2017 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Film ShowcaseFEBRUARY 24 7PM Coffee and dessert7:45 - 10PM event Anaheim Convention Center (Room 101)800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, California 92802The LMU Center for Religion & Spirituality and the LA Office of Religious Education invite you to the 2017 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Film Showcase at the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, February 24.Sponsored by LMU School of Film and Television, National Catholic … [Read more...]

An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story – Exclusive clips from PBS

A provocative new one-hour documentary, An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story, directed by Martin Doblmeier (Chaplains, Bonhoeffer, The Power of Forgiveness) is airing on PBS stations in April. The film explores the life and continued legacy of the influential Niebuhr, who spent most of his life on the FBI watchlist and whose writings influenced political figures including Pres. Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Jimmy Carter, civil rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and … [Read more...]

The Shack: Christian Film with a Catholic Touch

My feature story on the new film "The Shack" is now live at St. Anthony Messenger!Be sure to click through to read the entire story. (I have posted just a few opening paragraphs here.)The film opens on March 3, a great film - and just in time -  for Lent.In 2007, Canadian author William P. Young, with the help of two minister friends, self-published The Shack, a novel that he had written as a Christmas gift for his six children. It became a USA Today and New York Times best seller … [Read more...]

Liam Neeson sees God as love, not a stern master (interview)

Actor Liam Neeson plays the apostate Jesuit priest Fr. Ferreira in Martin Scorsese's new film "Silence."  I interviewed Neeson by phone on Jan. 18. It was a short interview (about twelve minutes). You can read my interview with Matt Malek, an executive producer on the film and my review at Sister Rose Movies and at the National Catholic Reporter.NCR: Have you seen the film?Neeson: Yes, twice in fact.What did you think of it?When you've worked on a film and see it for the first tim … [Read more...]

‘Patriot’s Day’ inspires and surprises

Patriots Day Most people will remember April 15, 2013, when brothers Tamerlan (Themo Melikidze) and Dzhokhar (Alex Wolff) Tsarnaev set off two homemade bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It was Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, the day of the Boston Marathon, held annually to commemorate the first two battles of the Revolutionary War: Concord and Lexington.Click here to continue reading at St. Anthony Messenger, February, 2017 (scroll down).P.S. I am adding this today, Jan … [Read more...]

Elizabeth “Liz” Thoman, Media Literacy Pioneer, Memorial Planned

Sister Elizabeth "Liz" Thoman, CHM died on December 22, 2019. She was a media literacy education pioneer, advocate, and educator.Here is a link to her obituary: Sr. Elizabeth Thoman, Media Literacy Leader DiesHere is a link to my essay about her, written in gratitude for her life, work, and influence on my life:Sister Elizabeth Thoman Altered the Course of My LifeTo RSVP for the Memorial Service, click here (or copy and paste): cml@medialit.orgIf you come, bring a memory to … [Read more...]