How Catholic Is Of Gods and Men? Part 3

03/23/2011 Comments (10)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

 
Of Gods and Men concludes, very nearly, with excerpts from the real Dom Christian’s spiritual testament, a meditation in which the abbot of Tibhirine reflects on the possibility of his eventual murder. Here, in part, is how it is quoted in the film:

I could never desire such a death. I could never feel gladdened that these people I love be accused randomly of my murder. I know the contempt felt for people here indiscriminately. And I know how Islam is distorted by certain Islamism. This country, and Islam, for me are something different. They’re a body and a soul. My death, of course, will quickly vindicate those who called me naive or...READ MORE

Filed under islam, monastic life, movies, of gods and men

How Catholic Is Of Gods and Men? Part 2

03/22/2011 Comments (19)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

 
Does Of Gods and Men portray the Tibhirine monks evangelizing their Muslim neighbors? Not directly, certainly. Trappist monks generally don’t engage in direct evangelization. It’s true, as noted by my correspondent (see Part 1), that a positive depiction of evangelization would be strikingly countercultural, but we mustn’t substitute ideas for a film we would like to see for criticism of an actual film. What a film might have done may provide an interesting point of comparison or contrast, but in the end a film stands or falls what it does, not what it might have done.

If a film is based on a true story (or even a fictional story) that we care...READ MORE

Filed under islam, monastic life, movies, of gods and men

Abortion Center Firebombing!

Outrage in Kalispell, Montana!

03/19/2011 Comments (50)

Incendiary device remains (Photo: Thomas More Society)

Call the national media! A firebombing attack just took place an abortion center in Kalispell, Montana! Tea Party violence strikes again! Call the Department of Homeland Security! These Christian Taliban extremists must be stopped!

Oh wait.

Yes, it seems a homemade incendiary device was thrown in the general vicinity of the All Family Health Care abortion center in Kalispell, Montana on Thursday night, March 17. That is, it was thrown at a pro-life demonstration on a public sidewalk. Specifically, at an elderly woman participating in a 40 Days for Life prayer vigil.

According to the Thomas More Society, the pro-life law center representing 40 Days for Life:

Karen Trierweiler,...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, domestic terrorism, pro-life

How Catholic is Of Gods and Men?

03/18/2011 Comments (21)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

 
This weekend, Of Gods and Men — based on the true story of the martyred Trappist monks of the Tibhirine monastery in Algeria — gets its widest distribution yet, opening on 36 new screens in California, Connecticut, Colorado, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Is it playing anywhere near you? Check playdates!

I’m about as excited about this film as I get about film, which is a lot (see my review and even my 30-second review). I understand why some viewers might have questions, though. In the combox for my review, a reader asks:

I heard that some traditionalist critics do not like the...READ MORE

Filed under islam, monastic life, movies, of gods and men, religious movies

The Rite – in 30 Seconds!

03/16/2011 Comments (2)

My latest Reel Faith YouTube mini-review.

Filed under exorcism, horror, movies, possession, reel faith, sdg reviews, video reviews

Of Gods and Men – in 30 Seconds

03/09/2011 Comments (2)

Don’t worry—no joking around this time. Silliness is a hallmark of my 30-second reviews so far (most notably yesterday’s The Social Network), but this film is different. Of Gods and Men—read my full-length review—is one of the most sublime films I’ve ever seen. This is a sincere tribute not only to Xavier Beauvois’ film, but to the monks of the Tibhirine monastery itself—and while I do use rhyming verse, it’s quite different from my usual approach. For Ash Wednesday, Of Gods and Men in 30 seconds (additional comments below):

I’ve seen the film twice now; on Sunday I went again with a friend from church, two of his kids and two of mine, and my cousin. What a magnificent preparation for...READ MORE

Filed under 30-second reviews, islam, monastic life, monks, movies, reel faith, reviews

The Social Network – In 30 Seconds!

03/08/2011 Comments (9)

There is no excuse for this, I know. So I won’t try. Creation myths may need a devil, but Mark Zuckerberg didn’t make me do it. Mea cula, mea cula, mea maxima culpa.

More craziness where this came from: The Adjustment Bureau in 30 Seconds, Original 30-second reviews

Filed under 30-second reviews, movies, reel faith, reviews

“Secret Millionaires” and Anonymous Heroes

03/07/2011 Comments (10)

Helen Ashe and Ellen Turner of the Love Kitchen.

Last night “Secret Millionaire” premiered on ABC, kicking off the second season of the U.S. version of the philanthropic reality series (season 1 ran on Fox). The show puts undercover super-rich individuals in needy communities where they scout out individuals and charitable groups to work with, ultimately rewarding them with gifts of tens of thousands of dollars (or pounds, in the original UK version).

Last night’s episode put Dani Johnson, an Evangelical entrepreneur who reportedly went from being on welfare to making her first million at 22, in the impoverished Western Heights neighborhood of Knoxville, Tennessee, where she volunteers at three good causes: a soup kitchen run by a pair...READ MORE

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About Steven D. Greydanus

SDG
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Steven D. Greydanus is film critic for the National Catholic Register and Decent Films, the online home for his film writing. He writes regularly for Christianity Today, Catholic World Report and other venues, and is a regular guest on several radio shows. Steven has contributed several entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, including “The Church and Film” and a number of filmmaker biographies. He has also written about film for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy. He has a BFA in Media Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and an MA in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, PA. He is pursuing diaconal studies in the Archdiocese of Newark. Steven and Suzanne have seven children.