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Private Fears in Public Places


Source: Catholic News Service

Master French filmmaker Alain Resnais' superb adaptation of British playwright Alan Ayckbourn's bittersweet comedy about six lonely characters: a real estate agent (Andre Dussollier), his lovelorn sister (Isabelle Carre), his religiously minded secretary (Sabine Azema), a widowed bartender (Pierre Arditi), an alcoholic ex-military man (Lambert Wilson) and his frustrated girlfriend (Laura Morante). A humorous stage piece with a serious undertone here becomes a breathtaking study of loneliness and alienation thanks to sensitive performances, evocative music and rich production design. Though Azema's character has proclivities wildly at odds with her pious demeanor, her imperfections pointedly represent the human flaws in all of us, while her faith is shown to be completely genuine. Subtitles. Brief suggestion of pornographic images, some rough and crude language, alcohol use, some domestic discord, premarital situations and implied sexual activity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.

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Rafal Chylinski: 
		<p>Born near Buk in the Poznan region of Poland, Melchior showed early signs of religious devotion; family members nicknamed him "the little monk." After completing his studies at the Jesuit college in Poznan, Melchior joined the cavalry and was promoted to officer rank within three years.</p>
		<p>In 1715, against the urgings of his military comrades, Melchior joined the Conventual Franciscans in Krakow. Receiving the name Rafal, he was ordained two years later. After pastoral assignments in nine cities, he came to Lagiewniki (central Poland), where he spent the last 13 years of his life, except for 20 months ministering to flood and epidemic victims in Warsaw. In all these places, Rafal was known for his simple and candid sermons, for his generosity, as well as his ministry in the confessional. People of all levels of society were drawn to the self-sacrificing way he lived out his religious profession and priestly ministry. </p>
		<p>Rafal played the harp, lute, and mandolin to accompany liturgical hymns. In Lagiewniki he distributed food, supplies, and clothing to the poor. After his death, the Conventual church in that city became a place of pilgrimage for people throughout Poland. He was beatified in Warsaw in 1991.</p>
American Catholic Blog In celebrating the birth of Christ, let us carefully consider what his birth reveals about God. This is a God who comes not to condemn but to give life. Once we begin to grasp this life, then the vision of Isaiah, as remarkable as it seems, cannot hold a candle to the light that will shine from us.

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