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Friday, February 12, 2016
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Film: Spotlight
Film: Spotlight

It's strange, watching a film based on events of which you were part, however peripherally. The film Spotlight has that effect on me: I was in Boston the year the Boston Globe newspaper revealed the extensive cover-up by Church authorities of child-abusing priests in the archdiocese. With minimal sensationalism Spotlight tells the story of how a team of journalists on the Globe followed up on the background to the conviction of a former priest extradited from California to Massachusetts to stand trial for child abuse crimes committed twenty years

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Ave Maria - Palestinian short film nominated for Oscar
Ave Maria - Palestinian short film nominated for Oscar

A Palestinian short film is one of the 2016 Oscar nominees for Best Live Action Short Film, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 'Ave Maria' directed by Basil Khalil and featuring Maria Zreik, Huda Al-Imam, Maya Koren, Shady Srour, Ruth Farhi. 'Ave Maria' takes a comedic look at an encounter between Palestinian nuns and a Jewish settler family in the West Bank. Nuns of the 'Sisters of Mercy' convent in the middle of the West Bank wilderness have their daily routine of silence and prayer disrupted when a family of religious Israeli settlers crash their car into the convent's

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Documentary film:  'All You Need Is Love' narrated by Sigourney Weaver
Documentary film: 'All You Need Is Love' narrated by Sigourney Weaver

'All You Need is Love' is a documentary film, narrated by Sigourney Weaver, focusing on the lives and dreams of the children of Good Morning School in Mae Sot, a town on the Thai-Burma border. Mae Sot is home to hundreds of thousands of Burmese nationals that have moved into Thailand to escape the repressive actions taken by Burma's military junta. However, the vast majority of these Burmese refugees exist as people without nationality, rights or any solid future. This is the harsh reality that the Burmese children in Mae Sot have to face every day.

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Film: Watch Open Bethlehem here this Christmas
Film: Watch Open Bethlehem here this Christmas

As a special Christmas treat, the critically acclaimed documentary film 'Open Bethlehem' is available to watch online for a limited period over the festive season. Why not share it with a private viewing with family and friends? "One of the most remarkable and moving documentaries I have seen. The tragedy of Palestinians encapsulated in the life of one town - Bethlehem. See the film then go to Bethlehem and see for yourself" Jon Snow - News Anchor Channel 4

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UK cinema chains ban Our Father
UK cinema chains ban Our Father

The UK's three largest cinema chains: Odeon, Cineworld and Vue have banned a short ad which shows people from different walks of life, reciting the Our Father - on the grounds that it could cause offence to non-Christians. The Just Pray clip had received clearance from the Cinema Advertising Authority and British Board of Film Classification. It was due to be shown to audiences before the pre-Christmas launch of the new Star Wars film,

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Film: He Named Me Malala
Film: He Named Me Malala

This is a film which should be compulsory viewing for anyone who loves - or hates - school and education. We all think we know the story of Malala, the teenager in the Swat Valley in Pakistan; we know she defied the Taliban restrictions of girls' education and we may remember that she was shot, brought to the UK, recovered and last year was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. That is indeed a harrowing story. But there is so much more to her story

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 Film:  Seven Songs For a Long Life
Film: Seven Songs For a Long Life

This passionate and touching film from the Scottish Documentary Institute, takes us behind the scenes at Strathcarron Hospice, following the lives of six patients, and staff who use singing as therapy and encourage each person to find their own unique voice. There is a great score by composer Mark Orton. Nurse Mandy Malcomson is a model caregiver. From the moment Tosh refuses to fill in his assessment form and serenades us with a remarkably good Sinatra tune, you realise that this is not going to be a sentimental or clinical film.

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Film: Captive
Film: Captive

Set in Atlanta, Georgia, Captive, directed by Jerry Jameson, tells the true story of a young widowed mother, struggling with drug addiction, who was taken hostage in her own apartment by a murderer on the run in 2005. Escaped prisoner Brian Nichols, played with great force by the award-winning British actor David Ayelowo, has already shot four people and survived a dramatic car chase, by the time he breaks into the home of Ashley Smith (Kate Mara). He is desperate, a terrifying figure - and she seems so frail, it is hard to see how she will survive.

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Film: Teacher's Diary
Film: Teacher's Diary

This charming romcom from Thailand tells the story of Song, a young inexperienced teaching assistant, played by Sukrit Wisetkaew, who is sent to take change of a remote rural school based on a dilapidated houseboat on a lake. There are four children in his class, all of different ages. Their parents are more interested in having them at home helping with fishing, than studying. Song's clumsy teaching style doesn't help. The kids are not impressed with his jokes and his Maths lessons sends them to sleep. A former wrestler, he is a city boy, and feels very out of place and lonely in

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Colchester: Filming starts on documentary about Blessed John Beche
Colchester: Filming starts on documentary about Blessed John Beche

Filming has started on a new documentary on the life and martyrdom of one of the few abbots who stood up to Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Blessed John Beche was hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason after he refused to surrender the keys of the Benedictine Abbey of St John the Baptist in Colchester, Essex, to the King's commissioners. Buckfast Abbey Media Studios, in association with St Gabriel News and Media, is now making a documentary about the abbot. The first day of filming coincided with commemorations of the 900th anniversary of the opening

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Film: We Are Many
Film: We Are Many

From the opening moments, Amir Amirani's We Are Many is a powerful documentary, revisiting the demonstrations against the war on Iraq that took place in 789 cities - one after another around the globe - across 72 countries, plus Antarctica, on 15 February 2003. Besides the rousing crowd scenes, there is vintage footage of Blair and Bush together and apart, repeating the story of those weapons of mass destruction. Then there's testimony and reminiscing from Jeremy Corbyn, Noam Chomsky, Tony Benn, Jesse Jackson, Clare Short, Ken Loach and Tariq Ali, Sir Richard Branson, Susan Sarandon,

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Call for student filmmakers
Call for student filmmakers

Student filmmakers are being invited to submit entries for the Insight Student Filmmaker Award 2015, as part of the Insight Film Festival. The theme, 'The Truth is Out There. Have Faith' is intended to give young filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their productions with a faith theme and potentially to secure an internship in Hollywood. The Insight Film Festival was launched in 2007. Last year, it teamed up with the Jesuits in Britain who were able to offer an internship with Loyola Productions in Hollywood to provide the Student Filmmaker Award. This is an unique opportunity for students engaged in filmmaking to explore, critique and reflect on what faith means in the modern world.

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London:  Open Bethlehem special screening at the ICA
London: Open Bethlehem special screening at the ICA

Open Bethlehem is screening at the ICA London on Thursday, 5 March followed by discussion and Q&A hosted by author Louisa Young. The film follows Palestinian director Leila Sansour's journey to the legendary city of Bethlehem, the place where she grew up. Armed with a camera and a family car that keeps breaking down, she sets out to make an intimate portrait of a historic town in peril. Ten years on, with 700 hours of footage, the result is an extraordinary chronicle of a decade of drastic upheaval that changes her own life and the lives of everyone in the town.

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York:  How movies help us walk the Way of the Cross
York: How movies help us walk the Way of the Cross

York Minster's Lent Course series for 2015 will discuss how movies such as Love Actually (2003), The Railway Man (2013), The King's Speech (2010) and Calvary (2014), can help us to reflect on the reality of loss and suffering and, perhaps help us to relate to Jesus' ultimate sacrifice: his suffering and death on the cross. Running for four Thursdays from 26 February in the Minster's North Transept, the Lent Course, 'Love Actually: How movies help us walk the Way of the Cross', will be presented by the film critic Stephen Brown, 

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Ten Ten Theatre launches film on modern slavery
Ten Ten Theatre launches film on modern slavery

The first Day of International Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking, announced by Pope Francis, was marked yesterday in London with the sell-out premiere screening of Ten Ten Theatre's new documentary film 'Bakhita's Prayer', in Covent Garden. The film explores the issue of modern slavery and the impact of the life of St Josephine Bakhita (whose feast was yesterday) through the eyes of Sixth Form students. This 26-minute film, which has been produced with the Westminster Vocations Office,

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'Fifty Shades of Grey' linked to eating disorders, domestic violence
'Fifty Shades of Grey' linked to eating disorders, domestic violence

A movie based on the pornographic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey is due for release in the UK next week. But a US study published last summer shows that young women who have read the first book are more likely than non-readers to exhibit signs of eating disorders and have a verbally abusive partner.  And domestic violence campaigners are calling for a boycott of the film.  The Michigan State University study indicates that women who read all three books in the series are at increased risk 

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Film: Open Bethlehem now on general release
Film: Open Bethlehem now on general release

Leila Sansour's film Open Bethlehem has been shown to full houses and received very positive reviews since it went on general release just before Christmas. Professor Avi Shla said: "As an Israeli Jew and a historian of the Arab-Israeli conflict, I am not a newcomer to the dilemmas of co-existence. But I was moved to tears by this beautiful film and I learnt a great deal from it about the temper and tenor of Palestinian families who are striving to protect something very precious not just for Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land but for humanity as

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 American Sniper 'lionizes the most despicable aspects of US society'
American Sniper 'lionizes the most despicable aspects of US society'

American journalist Chris Hedges writes in Common Dreams: “American Sniper” lionizes the most despicable aspects of US society—the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that banishes compassion and pity, a denial of inconvenient facts and historical truth, and a belittling of critical thinking and artistic expression. Many Americans, especially white Americans 

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Fr Stephen Wang reviews Birdman
Fr Stephen Wang reviews Birdman

Every now and then a film comes along that changes your understanding of what a film can be - Fr Stephen Wang writes in his blog the Jericho Tree. This was my experience in the Odeon Covent Garden last night. I spent most of the two hours of Birdman giggling with sheer delight at the technical and artistic audacity of the long-shots. Most of the film is presented as one unbroken shot, in some of the most complicated situations imaginable. Of course there are hidden cuts;

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American star Franc d'Ambrosio lends support to Padre Pio foundation
American star Franc d'Ambrosio lends support to Padre Pio foundation

The American singer and actor Franc d'Ambrosio is the latest Hollywood artist to become a Goodwill Ambassador for the Saint Pio Foundation. Funds raised by the Foundation are used to establish Catholic medical facilities, medical schools and shrines in America, and to support the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, founded by Saint Pio in 1956, and currently owned by the Holy See.

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  Behind the scenes: Remembering Mandela
Behind the scenes: Remembering Mandela

Catholic aid agency CAFOD hosted a special screening of the BAFTA-nominated film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, for over 100 of its young supporters, at The May Fair Hotel last week. The screening was followed by an exclusive Q&A session with the film’s award-winning director, Justin Chadwick. During the evening, Justin spoke about spending time with Mandela and his friends and family, the responsibility of making the film and his desire to place the relationship between Mandela and his wife Winnie firmly at the centre of the story.

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Documentary about Tyburn Nuns at international film festival
Documentary about Tyburn Nuns at international film festival

A film about life within the cloisters of a London-based order of contemplative Benedictine nuns has been entered into an international online film festival. Culture Unplugged invited the Tyburn Nuns to enter Tyburn Convent Gloria Deo into its Festival 2015: Humanity Explored and has agreed to screen the 90-minute film shot and produced by Michael Luke Davies.Monali Shrivastava of the Culture Unplugged Festival Team wrote to the nuns at Tyburn Convent, near Marble Arch,

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Hollywood star announces plan to make film on St Padre Pio *
Hollywood star announces plan to make film on St Padre Pio *

Hollywood star Joe Mantegna has announced plans to make a film on the life of St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. The actor, best known for his roles in 'The Three Amigos' and 'The Godfather Part III' is working in collaboration with the St Pio Foundation. Mantegna and his production partner Danny Ramm will make the film through their company Acquaviva Productions and it will be filmed on locations in Italy, in Pietrelcina and San Giovanni Rotondo in the Puglia region. Schedule permitting, Joe Mantegna will star in the title role.

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Film: Open Bethlehem goes on general release
Film: Open Bethlehem goes on general release

Open Bethlehem, a new film from Palestinian director Leila Sansour, goes on general release in the UK on 5 December. The film was shown earlier this year at a special screening at the Royal Geographical Society, hosted by broadcaster Melvyn Bragg. During the evening Bragg commented: “On my visit in 2012, I was moved by the contrasts Bethlehem presents. This film explores the personal and broader story of a holy city and the struggle to ensure its survival,

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Film: Ida
Film: Ida

Films about nuns tend to be laden with ideological and cinematic clichés. The sisters are either impossibly beautiful, haunted souls hovering on the edge of ecstasy; idiotic but jolly cheerleader types, liable to break out into spirit-lifting song at the twang of a guitar string; or monstrous harpies persecuting innocent children with sadistic zealotry, Gemma Simmonds CJ writes in Thinking Faith, Either way, lunatic religion and the repression of overwhelming sexual impulses are never far from the surface. The inner life that has these sisters 

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 316
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