Films, TV & Radio

Reviews & previews of Films, TV shows and Radio programs.


New film documents life of monks at Mount St Bernard Abbey

Outside the City - a new film by Nick Hamer, documents the lives of the Cistercian monks living in the closed monastic community of Mt Saint Bernard Abbey in rural Leicestershire, as they progress from dairy farming to brewing the UK's first Trappist beer, the world famous Tynt Meadow.

The world premiere took place at the Off Cinema International Documentary Festival, Poznan, Poland on 18...

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Film 'A Hidden Life' - Not hidden from the peace movement

Austrian Franz Jagerstatter has long been inspirational to the peace movement. So, it is wonderful to see the life of this World War II conscientious objector revealed to the world through a new film, 'A Hidden Life'. It is written and directed by acclaimed director Terrence Malick, and has been described as "masterpiece" and "one of the most thought-provoking films of 2019". From the start, I ...

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Bishop John Sherrington reviews 'A Hidden Life'

Westminster Auxillary Bishop John Sherrington, reviews 'A Hidden Life', the story of Franz Jägerstätter.

Last week I was invited to a private viewing of A Hidden Life. This deeply moving film, directed by Terence Malick, presents the struggle of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter to live his decision in conscience and refuse to take the military oath to Hitler. Franz Jägerstätter w...

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Looking back at Christmas TV

As the Yuletide festivities built up in December, I anticipated a diet of popular TV programs and 'special' editions of regular favourites like University Challenge, alongside film classics such as Brief Encounter. Happily we seem to have escaped from The Guns of Navarone this year. There still was a wealth of sugary romantic comedy and thin domestic episodes, in addition to a new hallo e'en sp...

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Bishop Robert Barron on 'The Crown'

For those who've been watching 'The Crown' - Bishop Robert Barron gives a very insightful commentary here on season three of the series - particularly its focus on several religious themes - through its depiction of Prince Philip and his mother, and the Prince's meeting with the Apollo 8 astronauts.

He describes how "this marvellously written program presents one of the great fault line...

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Documentary on Fr Patrick Peyton wins film award

Venerable Patrick Peyton

The upcoming documentary - Pray: The Story of Patrick Peyton - was awarded Best Documentary at the 2nd Annual God Country Family Christian Film Festival held last week in Eau Claire in Wisconsin.

Produced by Family Theater Productions (FTP) in association with Windrider Productions, PRAY profiles the Holy Cross priest, Venerable Patrick Peyton, who was born on 9 January 1909 in Carracastl...

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Pope Francis: Cinema builds community

Today, Pope Francis met with 400 members of Italy's Catholic Association of Community Cinema Hall Operators (ACEC) on the 70th anniversary of their founding. During the audience he encouraged them to build communion, saying cinema is a great instrument for bringing people together. He noted that particularly in the post-war period, cinema helped in the reconstruction of the social...

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Film: The Two Popes + trailer

The Two Popes - Directed by Fernando Meirelles; (City of God, The Constant Gardener) Script by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour, Bohemian Rhapsody) PG 13 125 minutes; Netflix

If London is anything to go by, this movie will be shown at only a few arthouse cinemas before its upcoming release as a download. If you get a chance, do hurry to see it on the big s...

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Vatican screening for 'A Hidden Life' + trailer

A screening of the film A Hidden Life, about the Austrian conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter, took place in the Vatican yesterday. In a rare public appearance, director Terrence Malick joined invited guests on Wednesday afternoon for the event. Paolo Ruffini, the Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication was also on hand to introduce the film. In his opening remarks, the Pref...

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Film review - Official Secrets

At a time when thousands of Iraqi anti-government protesters have clashed with security forces in Baghdad demanding jobs and better services, with more than 300 people killed since 1 October, it is appropriate to hear the story of someone who tried to stop the Iraq War of 2003 which devastated the country. 'Official Secrets' is based on the true story of a young whistleblower at the GCHQ survei...

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Film: Love and Mercy - Faustina

This new docudrama explores the life of the mystic Saint Faustina - the first saint of the New Millennium. It describes the apparitions she experienced and the Divine Mercy devotion she introduced to the world.

Born Helen Kowalska in 1905, she joined the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy as Sister Mary Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament, in Warsaw in 1925. In 1928, she took ...

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Film: Sorry We Missed You

This film is a companion piece to the last Ken Loach film 'I, Daniel Blake'. Like that film, 'Sorry We Missed You' is also set in the north-east. At the public premiere of the film at the Tyneside Cinema on 23 October, at the question and answer session, the director Ken Loach and screenplay writer Paul Laverty, stated that the idea of the film came from their research for 'I, Daniel Blake'. Fo...

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Film: By the Grace of God

A heartbreaking film about the sexual abuse of children by one Catholic priest in France, and the patient efforts of his victims to seek justice. The canon of films on this subject from countries around the world continues to grow. Earlier this year there was the documentary 'Tell No One' by Polish director Tomasz Sekielski. Now we have 'By the Grace of God' - a soberly-told docudrama from Fre...

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Film: The Biggest Little Farm

The Biggest Little Farm is a documentary following two California dreamers - filmmaker John Chester, his wife Molly, a professional cook and their beloved blue-eyed mongrel dog Todd, who decide to leave their rented flat in the city and set up an organic farm on a burnt-out stretch of land north of Los Angeles. The surrounding land is an ugly industrial moonscape either with miles of derelict b...

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