This latest film from director Niki Caro (Whalerider) is perhaps one of the most unknown historical dramas that took place during World War II and forms part of the canon of Holocaust films. The film opens not long before Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Antonina (Jessica Chastain) Żabiński and her husband Jan (Johan Heldenbergh) and live with their son Ryszard (Tim Radford & Val Maloku) in a villa at the Warsaw Zoo. Jan is the head of the… Read more

“Silence” is a recent film adaptation by Martin Scorsese of Japanese author Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel. The film tells the story of two young Portuguese Jesuit priests who travel to Japan in the 17th century to find their mentor, Fr. Ferreira (Liam Neeson) who is reported to have apostatized. It is a long journey from Portugal to Rome, Goa, Macau and finally Japan, where Christianity is outlawed. But this journey is nothing compared to the long spiritual journey of Fr…. Read more

  The following is a guest post asking us to reflect on the current refugee situation, indeed crisis, and our response as believers in view of the release of “The Zookeeper’s Wife” film on March 31, 2017.   Our Call to Provide Sanctuary Co-authored by: Lori Margaret, Christian Interfaith Activist Sue Obedi, Hollywood Bureau Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council Rabbi Sarah Bassin, Reform Rabbi   The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the story of Antonina Żabiński, a working wife and mother who… Read more

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,… Read more

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 Warsaw Zoo flourishing… Read more

“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… Read more

2016 was a very good year for Hollywood. Disney made more than $1 billion — again — before the year was half over (the first studio ever to reach that amount in just over four months) and the hits just kept on coming: “Finding Dory,” “The Jungle Book,” etc. I only saw 56 films in 2016, far fewer that my usual 100. However, the quality of those that I did see was certainly worth the time and effort. Of the… Read more

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

Due to the limited amount of television shows I can record, my DVR didn’t start recording “Ransom,” a new CBS drama, until the fourth episode, “Joe,” which aired Jan. 28. But I was traveling and when I got home I had three, then four episodes to watch. Wow. I’m impressed. The drama revolves around the character of a former FBI agent, Eric Beaumont (Luke Roberts) who leads a team of crisis and hostage negotiators that private citizens and governments call… Read more

2017 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Film Showcase FEBRUARY 24 7PM Coffee and dessert 7:45 – 10PM event Anaheim Convention Center (Room 101) 800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, California 92802 The 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 Reporter, the Pauline Center for… Read more

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