Home » Page 29

The glorious and inspirational ‘Queen of Katwe’

October 11th, 2016 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

By

Catholic News Service

The glorious “Queen of Katwe” applies the traditional formula of an uplifting sports drama to the real-life story of a Ugandan chess prodigy.

The film then goes in unexpected directions to expose the scars horrific poverty can leave on the human soul.

Lupita Nyong'o and Madina Nalwanga star in a scene from the movie "Queen of Katwe." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. (CNS photo/Disney)

Lupita Nyong’o and Madina Nalwanga star in a scene from the movie “Queen of Katwe.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. (CNS photo/Disney)

The principal characters are all presented obliquely as Christian, and Phiona Mutesi’s (Madina Nalwanga) first exposure to chess comes through a sports ministry. But religious faith and practice aren’t really shown here.

The hero is Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), a missionary and former soccer player who starts a chess club in an abandoned church in Katwe, a shantytown outside Uganda’s capital city, Kampala.

He turns down an opportunity to pursue a lucrative career in engineering so he can teach the village children a skill that will enable them to expand their minds. “This is a place for fighters,” he tells them.

Phiona is illiterate, since her widowed mother, Harriet (Lupita Nyong’o), a vegetable peddler, can’t afford to send her children to school. Her older sister, Night (Taryn “Kay” Kyaze), has temporarily escaped the shantytown squalor by living with an older man who provides her with money that she passes on to Harriet.

Phiona’s introduction to chess is a simple explanation from another girl who tells her what each piece does, finishing with “They all kill each other.”

Phiona’s an outcast even among other poor children; they’ve decided that she smells bad. She faces further scorn any time she defeats a boy.

In adapting Tim Crothers’ book “The Queen of Katwe,” director Mira Nair and screenwriter William Wheeler don’t attempt to explain the vagaries of chess, other than to demonstrate, in one scene, Phiona’s particular talent with three-dimensional thinking. Instead they concentrate on her relationships with the people around her.

The scrappy poor kids of Katwe eventually take on wealthy, educated youngsters at a college tournament, and from there on, Phiona’s exposure to the outside world grows. It’s accompanied by a sudden outbreak of low self-esteem, however, as she realizes that her life has had severely limited possibilities.

From this point on, the story picks up speed as it observes the sports-film formula. Phiona has a major defeat at a Russian tournament, suffers from despair, successfully wrestles with her inner demons and steels herself for future victories.

There’s no condescension to the poverty, which is shown matter-of-factly and without a trace of self-pity. The result is a remarkably inspirational movie about the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

The film contains references to cohabitation. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II, adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG.

Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.

 

Comments Off on The glorious and inspirational ‘Queen of Katwe’

This ‘Middle School’ is rated for adults

By

Catholic News Service

Kids the same age as its preteen main character are clearly the target audience for “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life.”

Andrew Daly, Thomas Barbusca, Griffin Gluck and Isabela Moner star in a scene from the movie "Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS photo/CBS Films)

Andrew Daly, Thomas Barbusca, Griffin Gluck and Isabela Moner star in a scene from the movie “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. (CNS photo/CBS Films)

But numerous elements in the film seem ill-suited to such youthful viewership. In particular, parents may not care for the underlying message of this comedy which charts with glowing approval its protagonist’s revolt against scholastic authority.

Naturally, the script gives Rafe Khatchadorian (Griffin Gluck) an ostensibly good reason for his rebellion. Having been shown the door at two previous institutions, artistically gifted but mildly troubled Rafe lands at Hills Village Middle School only to find it ruled by rigid Principal Dwight (Andy Daly) and his excessively restrictive code of conduct: No wearing this or that item of clothing, no loitering in the halls, no touching the trophy case, etc.

In response, Rafe launches a campaign of mostly harmless pranks, each designed to be a blatant and humorous violation of one of Principal Dwight’s petty regulations. Drawing on the spelling of his name, he gives his insurrection the motto “Rules Aren’t for Everyone.”

Rafe is aided in planning and executing his stunts by his best friend, Leo (Thomas Barbusca). He’s also supported, in his results at least, by Jeanne (Isabela Moner), the sprightly classmate for whom he has fallen, though she’s not in on the secret of who’s behind the hijinks.

The opening scene has shown us that Rafe likes to stay awake all night drawing, and the fact that he and Leo now pass the wee hours carrying out their low-key deviltry will raise another red flag for grownups.

Despite the benign nature of much of Rafe’s uprising, director Steve Carr’s screen version of James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts’ novel does briefly veer into endorsing vandalism. This arises in connection with Rafe’s domestic troubles.

His sympathetic mom, Jules (Lauren Graham), has agreed to marry and, from the time of the engagement, has already shacked up with her creep of a boyfriend, Carl (Rob Riggle). As the audience figures out long before Jules ever does, Carl’s true love is his expensive sports car. Thus this vehicle becomes a target in Rafe and his younger sister Georgia’s war on Carl, a battle that parallels the one Rafe is waging at school.

As the live action alternates with animated sequences, Rafe’s cartoon sketches come to life, much of the juvenile humor hovers at the level of a routine sitcom episode. Surprisingly, the film’s dramatic elements, by contrast, are handled deftly and to poignant effect.

Even this asset entails another warning to parents, though, since the serious part of the story revolves around the death from cancer, before the movie starts, of Rafe’s younger brother.

All told, while “Middle School” is probably acceptable for older teens, their juniors should only be given permission to see it after very careful consideration, if at all.

The film contains cohabitation, youthful defiance of authority, mature themes, including the death of a child, much scatological humor, a handful of crass terms, some wordplay and brief sexual references. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III, adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG.

 

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

 

Comments Off on This ‘Middle School’ is rated for adults

Pope names three Americans among 17 new cardinals

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will conclude the Year of Mercy by creating 17 new cardinals, including three from the United States: Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago; Bishop Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life; and Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis.

Pope Francis greets the crowd after celebrating a jubilee Mass in honor of Mary in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 9. At the conclusion of the Mass, the pope announced he will create 13 new cardinals at a Nov. 19 consistory. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis greets the crowd after celebrating a jubilee Mass in honor of Mary in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 9. At the conclusion of the Mass, the pope announced he will create 13 new cardinals at a Nov. 19 consistory. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Announcing the names of the new cardinals Oct. 9, Pope Francis said, “Their coming from 11 nations expresses the universality of the church that proclaims and witnesses the good news of God’s mercy in every corner of the earth.”

The new cardinals, 13 of whom are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope and four over 80 being honored for their “clear Christian witness,” will be inducted into the College of Cardinals Nov. 19, the eve of the close of the Year of Mercy.

The next day, Nov. 20, they will join Pope Francis and other cardinals in celebrating the feast of Christ the King and closing the Year of Mercy, the pope said.

Shortly after the pope’s announcement, Archbishop Tobin tweeted: “I am shocked beyond words by the decision of the Holy Father. Please pray for me.”

Cardinal-designate Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, one of 17 new cardinals, is pictured in a 2015 photo at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Cardinal-designate Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, one of 17 new cardinals, is pictured in a 2015 photo at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The first of the new cardinals announced by the pope was Archbishop Mario Zenari, who, the pope explained, “will remain apostolic nuncio to the beloved and martyred Syria.”

The last of the cardinals he named was Albanian Father Ernest Simoni, an priest of the Archdiocese of Shkodre-Pult, who will turn 88 Oct. 18. He had moved Pope Francis to tears in 2014 when he spoke about his 30 years in prison or forced labor under Albania’s militant atheistic regime.

Ordained in 1956, he was arrested on Christmas Eve 1963 while celebrating Mass and was sentenced to death by firing squad. He was beaten, placed for three months in solitary confinement, and then tortured because he refused to denounce the church.

He was eventually freed, but later arrested again and sent to a prison camp, where he was forced to work in a mine for 18 years and then 10 more years in sewage canals.

In creating 13 cardinal-electors, those under the age of 80, Pope Francis will exceed by one the 120 cardinal-elector limit set by Blessed Paul VI. The number of potential electors will return to 120 Nov. 28 when Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Senegal, celebrates his 80th birthday.

The youngest of the new cardinals, who will be the youngest member of the College of Cardinals,is 49-year-old Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui, Central African Republic.

Cardinal-designate Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life, is pictured in a Sept. 13 photo in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

Cardinal-designate Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life, is pictured in a Sept. 13 photo in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

When violence broke out in his country, the archbishop along with a Protestant leader and a local imam began working together to build peace and counter efforts to turn the conflict into a religious war. Archbishop Nzapalainga hosted Pope Francis during a visit to Central African Republic in November 2015.

Seven of the 11 nations represented by the new cardinals did not have a cardinal at the time of the pope’s announcement: Central African Republic, Bangladesh, Mauritius and Papua New Guinea will now have cardinal-electors. Malayasia, Lesotho and Albania will be represented in the College of Cardinals, although their cardinals will be too old to vote in a conclave.

Here is the list of new cardinals in the order in which Pope Francis announced them:

  • Archbishop Zenari, an Italian who is 70 years old.
  • Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui, Central African Republic, 49.
  • Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, 71.
  • Archbishop Sergio da Rocha of Brasilia, Brazil, who will be 57 Oct. 21.
  • Archbishop Cupich, 67.
  • Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 73.
  • Archbishop Baltazar Porras Cardozo of Merida, Venezuela, who turns 72 Oct. 10.
  • Archbishop Jozef De Kesel of Malines-Brussels, Belgium, 69.
  • Archbishop Maurice Piat of Port-Louis, Mauritius, 75.
  • Bishop Farrell, 69.
  • Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, 66.
  • Archbishop John Ribat of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 59.
  • Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis celebrates the 57th annual Red Mass Oct. 5 at St John the Evangelist Church. Pope Francis has named Archbishop Tobin as one of 17 new cardinals. (CNS photo/Bob Nichols, Catholic Moment)

    Cardinal-designate Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis celebrates the 57th annual Red Mass Oct. 5 at St John the Evangelist Church. Pope Francis has named Archbishop Tobin as one of 17 new cardinals. (CNS photo/Bob Nichols, Catholic Moment)

    Archbishop Tobin, 64.

  • Retired Archbishop Anthony Soter Fernandez of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 84.
  • Retired Archbishop Renato Corti of Novara, Italy, 80.
  • Retired Bishop Sebastian Koto Khoarai of Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho, 87.
  • Father Simoni, 87.
Comments Off on Pope names three Americans among 17 new cardinals

Nate Turner’s revolt movingly dramatized in ‘The Birth of a Nation’

October 10th, 2016 Posted in Movies Tags: , , ,

By

Catholic News Service

Nat Turner’s Rebellion, an 1831 insurrection among the enslaved people of Southampton County, Va., represented the most serious challenge of its kind ever posed to slavery in the antebellum South.

Gabrielle Union and Colman Domingo star in a scene from the movie "The Birth of a Nation." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS photo/Fox)

Gabrielle Union and Colman Domingo star in a scene from the movie “The Birth of a Nation.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. (CNS photo/Fox)

Although brief, the uprising exacted scores of white fatalities while its savage suppression involved the legally sanctioned executions of a roughly equal number of African-Americans, as well as the deaths of many more at the hands of enraged mobs.

Turner’s life is movingly dramatized in “The Birth of a Nation.”

Making ironic use of the title of D.W. Griffith’s technically innovative but otherwise deplorable 1915 film about the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, writer-director Nate Parker, who also stars as Turner, presents audiences with an engrossing profile.

Taught to read at an early age, Turner becomes a committed and eloquent preacher. But his gifts are turned to perverse use when his master, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), agrees, for a fee, to let him tour nearby plantations delivering sermons in favor of submission.

Times are hard and local planters, feeling the pinch, have taken measures like reducing rations. The result has been the restlessness and resentment Turner’s exhortations are meant to quell.

Yet the arrangement turns out to have wholly unexpected consequences. As he witnesses the range of inhumanities to which his fellow slaves are routinely subjected, Turner gradually becomes radicalized. And these barbaric acts are soon matched by brutalities that strike closer to home, affecting both Turner himself and his beloved wife, Cherry (Aja Naomi King).

Overwhelmed by this succession of atrocious events, Turner begins to view the message of Scripture in an entirely new light.

Christian faith is obviously central to Parker’s film, his directorial debut. So too are the moral issues raised by the short-lived but bloody revolt he chronicles.

An individual tyrant, for instance, has traditionally been viewed, at least in Catholic theology, as an opponent of the common good against whom violent measures may legitimately be taken. But does the same apply to an entire class of oppressors, including women and children?

Parker handles all this with sensitivity and subtlety while nonetheless presenting Turner in an unequivocally positive light.

The educational value of “The Birth of a Nation” would normally suggest expanding its audience to include at least some teens. Yet the amount of cruel mayhem inherent in this story is so extensive that even many mature viewers will find it difficult to endure.

The film contains strong gory violence, including torture and an off-screen rape, a scene of marital intimacy, upper female nudity, a few uses of profanity and a handful of crude and crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III, adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R.

 

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

 

 

Comments Off on Nate Turner’s revolt movingly dramatized in ‘The Birth of a Nation’

Sals battle country’s seventh-ranked soccer team to 1-1 tie

By

For The Dialog

 

BEAR – The most anticipated soccer match of the year in Delaware took place Saturday night at Bob Peoples Stadium at Caravel Academy as Salesianum, ranked sixth in the country, met No. 7 St. Benedict’s Prep of New Jersey. The teams put on a spirited effort, but after 100 minutes neither could come away with the win as they battled to a 1-1 tie.

Starting in rain, the game started with the teams feeling each other out and not taking too many risks. Salesianum had the first good chance, as Gavin Ford was tackled just outside the box, setting up a 33-yard free kick in the eighth minute. Jason Blackwell tried to bend the free kick into the far post, but he missed just wide. Read more »

Comments Off on Sals battle country’s seventh-ranked soccer team to 1-1 tie

Auks remain unbeated in volleyball after sweep of Raiders

By

For The Dialog

 

CLAYMONT – Archmere celebrated homecoming in style, sweeping rival Ursuline to remain undefeated in volleyball in front of a packed house at Moglia Fieldhouse on Oct. 7. The second-ranked Auks won by scores of 25-11, 25-18 and 25-21.

The Auks and No. 4 Raiders went toe to toe early, as the first set was tied five times, including at 7 after a kill by Ursuline’s Cassidy Markell. Archmere then went on a three-point run, capped off by a Kaylie Leclerc ace. Archmere started pulling away, getting two kills apiece from Julia Kochie and Lexi Kelly. The Auks closed the set on a 15-4 run, ended by a Nicole Kelly kill. Read more »

Comments Off on Auks remain unbeated in volleyball after sweep of Raiders

Archmere opens homecoming weekend with field hockey shutout

By

Dialog reporter

 

CLAYMONT – Archmere kicked off its homecoming weekend in grand style, shutting out St. Elizabeth, 8-0, in field hockey on the afternoon of Oct. 7. Six players scored for the Auks, who improved to 5-2 after their third straight win. Read more »

Comments Off on Archmere opens homecoming weekend with field hockey shutout

Wahlberg tells vocations directors, ‘bring us good and holy priests’

By

Catholic News Service

Typically, the Facebook page for the Diocese of Providence Office of Vocations in Rhode Island gets anywhere from 3 to 40 likes on their posts, most which celebrate seminarians, priests and their ministry.

Mark Wahlberg is seen in Rome Oct. 3. (CNS photo/Giorgio Onorati, EPA)

Mark Wahlberg is seen in Rome Oct. 3. (CNS photo/Giorgio Onorati, EPA)

But it took an actor and former member of a boy band to set its Facebook page on fire, not with a song, but with a video praising the priesthood, and one which has been viewed, as of Oct. 6, 560,000 times, and received more than 6,000 likes and upward of 8,000 shares.

Actor Mark Wahlberg, a native of Boston, where the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors held its annual conference Sept. 30–Oct.7, made the homemade video shown to those who attended, and later posted on Diocese of Providence vocations office Facebook page.

“We, the Catholic faithful, are counting on you to bring us good and holy priests,” Wahlberg said in the video. “Enjoy my hometown this week and know that I will pray for you and for your success. Thank you for all that you do and God bless.”

Some priests from the Boston area, who know Wahlberg, had brought up the idea of asking the actor to attend the conference once the city had been chosen as the location, said Rosemary Sullivan, executive director of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors. But as his schedule got tighter and tighter, he asked if he could do a video instead. Wahlberg is currently promoting a film in which he stars, “Deepwater Horizon,” about the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and how it affected the workers. The film was released the day the conference started.

He wasn’t given a script for the priesthood video, but spoke from his heart, Sullivan said in a phone interview from Boston Oct. 6. Wahlberg spoke about how priests have helped him during difficult moments in his life and also are there for the good times: when he got married, when his children were baptized, when members of his family died and were buried, when he needs God’s forgiveness, when he receives the body and blood of Jesus Christ to replenish his faith.

In the video, Wahlberg said he wants his children and future generations to have “good priests in their lives, just like I had.” And even though he got into trouble in his youth, “I always had a priest to stick by me,” he said.

When the video was shown in the conference, the reaction was silence, but a good kind of silence, Sullivan said: “He was so deeply sincere and you could feel it when you’re watching the video.”

“My Catholic faith is the anchor that supports everything I do in life,” said Wahlberg, adding that he would be praying for the success of the conference and of the vocation directors.

What’s plain to see is that the actor “spoke as a son of Christ” in his plea to keep the priesthood alive, and about a responsibility that doesn’t belong to vocation directors alone, Sullivan said.

“We all bear that responsibility,” she added.

Wahlberg, as a Catholic, took that responsibility seriously in trying to see what he could do to help.

“This is an example where you use a gift God has given you,” she said, adding that Wahlberg also was at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015 and emceed an event attended by the pope.

It’s important to follow his example and, as Wahlberg did, let priests, those who thinking about the priesthood, and vocation directors, know what they mean to Catholic communities, Sullivan said.

“They need to know how much we love them and support them,” Sullivan said. “Mark Wahlberg is challenging them, saying ‘We need you to help us.’”

 

The Diocese of Providence Office of Vocations Facebook page can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/hub4ot8.

 

Follow Guidos on Twitter: @CNS_Rhina.

Comments Off on Wahlberg tells vocations directors, ‘bring us good and holy priests’

Colombian president wins Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to end civil war

By

OSLO, Norway — Even though the people of Colombia rejected the terms of a peace accord ending more than 50 years of civil war, the Nobel committee chose Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos as winner of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, pictured in a 2015 photo, has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. (CNS photo/Jose Miguel Gomez, Reuters)

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, pictured in a 2015 photo, has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. (CNS photo/Jose Miguel Gomez, Reuters)

“The fact that a majority of the voters said no to the peace accord does not necessarily mean that the peace process is dead,” the committee said, announcing the prize Oct. 7.

The referendum Oct. 2 “was not a vote for or against peace,” the prize announcement said. “What the ‘no’ side rejected was not the desire for peace, but a specific peace agreement.”

The committee honored Santos “for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220,000 Colombians and displaced close to 6 million people.”

The prize, it said, “should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process.”

The committee also recognized that “striking a balance between the need for national reconciliation and ensuring justice for the victims will be a particularly difficult challenge,” one signaled by the rejection of the agreement by a narrow margin.

The Colombian bishops’ conference, in a statement after the referendum was defeated, said it was clear that “we all want peace,” but also that the Colombian people wanted a greater say in the exact terms meant to end 52 years of civil war while promoting justice and the unification of all the country’s people. “We can build the peace we yearn for only if we overcome polarization and divisions to unite around a common ideal.”

The bishops’ conference pledged the Catholic Church’s willingness to do everything possible to design and develop “initiatives that will help eradicate the roots of violence, defend life and the family and promote coexistence in peace and just for all Colombians.”

At the invitation of Santos and leaders of the rebel movement FARC, the Spanish acronym for Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, was present for the initial signing Sept. 26 of the peace accord later rejected by voters.

Leading some 2,500 people in prayer before the signing ceremony, Cardinal Parolin had said, “Colombians have lived through forced displacements and violence. … And that is why we need to find the road to peace and justice.”

Pope Francis had said he would like visit Colombia once the peace agreement was finalized and approved by the people. Speaking to reporters just a few hours before the results of the referendum were announced, he said he would go to the South American country when everything is completely safe and when it is clear “there is no going back” to a state of civil war.

Comments Off on Colombian president wins Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to end civil war

Legatus Mass Oct. 11 at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church

October 7th, 2016 Posted in National News

By

Legatus, the Catholic business leaders’ organization which celebrated its 10th anniversary in May, continues its 11th year Oct. 11 with a 6 p.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop Malooly at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church in Greenville. Read more »

Comments Off on Legatus Mass Oct. 11 at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.