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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

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Source: Catholic News Service

Deeply disturbing but hypnotic story set in 18th-century France about an orphan (Ben Wishaw) -- impoverished and abused but gifted with an extraordinary sense of smell -- who apprentices to a perfumer (Dustin Hoffman), after which -- incapable of normal love -- he becomes a serial killer in his quest to capture the scents of his young female victims, ultimately targeting the virginal daughter (Rachel Hurd-Wood) of a wealthy merchant (Alan Rickman) desperate to protect her. Director Tom Tykwer's artful adaptation of Patrick Suskind's 1985 best-seller shows sensitivity in telling a story which could be utterly repellent in other hands, and without justifying the terrible deeds, succeeds in illuminating the protagonist's strange motivation with Christian compassion. Reasonably restrained in its violence, the film will clearly not be to every taste and should be approached with caution. Aberrant violence including murder and bloodshed, partial nudity, an unflattering ecclesiastical character, and a climax involving mass eroticism with long-shot nudity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Catharine of Bologna: Some Franciscan saints led fairly public lives; Catharine represents the saints who served the Lord in obscurity. 
<p>Catharine, born in Bologna, was related to the nobility in Ferrara and was educated at court there. She received a liberal education at the court and developed some interest and talent in painting. In later years as a Poor Clare, Catharine sometimes did manuscript illumination and also painted miniatures. </p><p>At the age of 17, she joined a group of religious women in Ferrara. Four years later the whole group joined the Poor Clares in that city. Jobs as convent baker and portress preceded her selection as novice mistress. </p><p>In 1456, she and 15 other sisters were sent to establish a Poor Clare monastery in Florence. As abbess Catharine worked to preserve the peace of the new community. Her reputation for holiness drew many young women to the Poor Clare life. She was canonized in 1712.</p> American Catholic Blog Dear God, when you pour yourself into the little vase of my being, I suffer the agony of not being able to contain you. The inner walls of this heart feel as if they were about to burst, and I am surprised this has not happened already.


 
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