2010 Lenten Catholic Film Series


The Brothers of the Pope John Paul II Council of the Knights of Columbus, in collaboration with parishioners at St. Paul's Church, cordially invite everyone to the Council's award-winning Catholic Film Series (CFS)! [Awarded Best Church Activity in 2008-2009 by the Supreme Office.]

Instead of giving up movies for Lent, why not join fellow students and parishioners each Friday evening to watch a film, following by meaningful discussion?

Films are chosen for their artistic merit and ability to foster a serious discussion about the application of Christian values to human issues.

Please consider joining us each Friday at 7PM in the St. Paul Student Lounge! Snacks and drinks will be provided.

For your convenience, the entire Lenten film schedule is provided below, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) reviews and age-appropriate ratings:

Groundhog Day (1993), February 19th: a romantic fantasy in which a sarcastic weatherman (Bill Murray) slowly goes bonkers when inexplicably caught in a time warp in Punxsutawney, PA where, in daily reliving the same Groundhog Day, he gradually falls in love with his sweet-natured producer (Andie MacDowell). Appealing performances and numerous chuckles. (A-II) (PG)

The Lives of Others (2007), February 26th: a gripping German political thriller set in the East Berlin of 1984--five years before the fall of the Berlin Wall--in which a hard-bitten interrogator for the secret police (Ulrich Muhe) wiretaps the apartment of a celebrated playwright (Sebastian Koch) and his actress companion (Martina Gedeck), and discovers his own humanity in the process. Writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, making an auspicious feature film debut, has crafted a suspenseful and profoundly moving story that besides bringing to life the ambience of pre-glasnost Germany, vividly demonstrate the transformative power of art while elucidating the conflict between ideology and conscience. A modern classic. Subtitles. (A-III -- adults) (R)

The Mission (1986), March 5th: in the 1750s, the large and prosperous Jesuit Indian missions of South America were divided between Spain and Portugal. In retelling these events, Robert Bolt's screenplay focuses not on the religious but on the socio-political dimension of the colonial era and its injustices. The epic production is visually splendid. Roland Joffe's direction contrasts a non-violent priest (Jermey Irons) with one (Robert De Niro) who leads the Indians against a colonial army. The work recalls a past that provides a context for current Latin American struggles. (A-III) (PG) Please note that this film has been moved to DiGiovanni Hall to coincide with the Council's Lenten fish taco social during Spring Rush; all are invited to this event.

Amazing Grace (2007), March 12th: a compelling historical biography about William Wilberforce (a dynamic Ioan Gruffudd), the great 18th century British abolitionist, who with the help of the young British Prime Minister William Pitt (Benedict Cumberbatch), and other like-minded friends in Parliament and elsewhere (Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, Albert Finney, Youssou N'Dour), managed--after tireless and courageous struggle--to pass an anti-slave trade bill in Parliament. With its solid performances, accessible script and handsome production design, director Michael Apted's film recalls some of the best historical dramas from Hollywood's golden age, and is all the more admirable for its unabashed portrait of a passionate man of God. (A-II -- adults and adolescents) (PG)

(“To Live”) (1960), March 19th: a universal tale from Japan in which a petty municipal bureaucrat (Takashi Shimura) learns he has stomach cancer but can find no solace either from family or empty diversions until he determines to give some meaning to his life by cutting through the red tape of city agencies to build a children's playground in a poor neighborhood, as told in flashbacks at the man's wake. Directed by Akira Kurosawa, the 1952 production turns the story of a dying man into a convincing affirmation of life as he recovers the lost sense of his own human worth by helping others, in a movie filled with compelling performances and honest emotions. Subtitles. (A-III) (PG)

Babette’s Feast (1988), March 26th: a screen version of a story by Isak Dinesen, set in a rugged Danish fishing village in 1871, shows the impact of a French housekeeper (Stephane Audran) on two pious sisters who carry on their late father's work as pastor of a dwindling religious flock. The conclusion follows the preparation and consumption of an exquisite French meal, with focus on its sensual and religious implications and its healing effect on the austere sect and the Frenchwoman who prepares it. Danish director Gabriel Axel's low-key and understated work is rich with detail and fine, controlled performances. Subtitles. (A-II) (G)

Films have been evaluated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting according to artistic merit and moral suitability. The reviews include the USCCB rating, the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and a brief synopsis of the movie. The USCCB classifications are as follows: A-I—general patronage; A-II—adults and adolescents; A-III—adults; L—limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling (L replaces the previous classification, A-IV); O—morally offensive.