Videos on Release

Rescuers: Stories of Courage

Why do ordinary people become heroes? That question is explored in the book Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust by Gay Block and Malka Drucker, the source for Showtime's Rescuers: Stories of Courage. The video recounts the true stories of two couples who rescued Jews from harm's way during World War II. The first segment follows Aart and Johtje Vos, a newly married couple who hid Jews in their country home. The Voses never meant to help Jews fleeing Holland's Nazi occupation, but they felt obliged to rescue people facing execution. They ran their shelter for years, despite repeated searches by the SS. The second segment tells the story of Emile and Marie Taquet, a childless Belgian couple who, despite extreme danger, hid dozens of Jewish boys among students at their Catholic school until the war ended. The Voses and the Taquets weren't saints, but they demonstrated an almost saintly courage. Fascinating viewing.

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Feet of Flames

Last July 25, Irish dancer and impresario Michael Flatley brought a company of singers, musicians and dancers to a massive outdoor stage on the Route of Kings in London's Hyde Park. As day faded into evening, 25,000 spectators watched a spectacular show that featured Irish soloists singing, Irish instrumentalists playing, and Irish solo and group dancers wheeling about in elaborate formations. The show didn't tell a specific story; rather, it was a series of set pieces — elaborately choreographed numbers interspersed with singing and instrumental playing.

The dancers displayed the Flatley touch. A former star of the Riverdance troupe, who had a falling out with its directors, Flatley has taken the traditional, controlled movements of Irish dance and spiced them up with ballet and modern-dance techniques. These alterations have upset some Irish-dance purists, but Flatley's innovations have certainly produced an energetic synthesis. The audience watching his show was enthusiastically appreciative, and most viewers of the video, which was made from footage shot at the July 25 performance, should find the spectacle invigorating as well.

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The Healing Touch of Jesus

This video, which is an episode of the “Topical Bible Series,” is a somewhat unusual production. It combines biblical re-enactments, voice-over narration by actor Richard Kiley as the evangelist Matthew, commentary by singer/songwriter Kathy Troccoli and a music video that uses footage from the biblical re-enactments as background for a Troccoli-sung ballad called “When I Look at You.” The Healing Touch of Jesus focuses on the healing miracles of Christ found in St. Matthew's Gospel. It stars Bruce Marchiano as a smiling Jesus who takes delight in bringing the afflicted back to health. Among those he rescues are the man with leprosy, the servant of the Roman centurion, Saint Peter's mother-in-law, the men afflicted with demons and the Canaanite woman. After the re-enactments, Troccoli comments on the deeper significance of each miracle and describes what it means to her. In some ways, The Healing Touch of Jesus is a confused effort. Is it exegesis? Autobiography? Entertainment? But its heart is in the right place, and most viewers are sure to hear something inspirational from the movie.

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The Little Kidnappers

Based on a short story called Scotch Settlement by Neil Paterson and an acclaimed 1953 film, The Little Kidnappers is a movie with a heart. The film is set in 1903 Nova Scotia, a land still feeling the aftereffects of South Africa's Boer War. To this beautiful Canadian coast come two little boys, the orphaned sons of a Scots-Canadian sergeant killed in the war. The boys are 8-year-old Harry (Leo Wheatley) and his younger brother Davy (Charles Miller). These sweet little fellow have crossed the Atlantic Ocean to take up residence with their MacKensie grandparents. James MacKensie (Charlton Heston) is a dour Scot, with a harsh soul and a hate for his Dutch neighbors. His wife and daughter are kind women, and gladly welcome the boys. But Harry and Davy are lonely, so they take in a lost baby as a pet. Naturally, this leads to complications and the learning of a few important lessons for young and old. The Little Kidnappers is a lovely little movie, just right for a family looking to entertain both adults and children.

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Loretta G. Seyer