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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Pretty Persuasion

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Dark-edged satire about a maliciously manipulative 15-year-old (Evan Rachel Wood) who recruits two classmates (Elisabeth Harnois and Adi Schnall) in accusing one of their high school teachers (Ron Livingston) of sexual misconduct, entangling all involved in a web of deceit that has tragic consequences. Despite an impressive performance by his Lolitaish lead, director Marcos Siega's cynical, mean-spirited and unjustifiably raunchy revenge tale has pretensions of social commentary but lacks any sympathetic characters and seems content to shock rather than offer any real insights on the issues explored. Recurring sexual situations, including suggested sodomy and oral sex between minors, and, in one case, between a teenage girl and an adult woman; masturbation; a suicide; brief drug content; same-sex kissing; excessive explicit sexual language; and some profanity, ethnic slurs and lewd humor. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.

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First Martyrs of the Church of Rome: There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the “Apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in 57-58 A.D.. 
<p>There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in 49-50 A.D. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city “caused by the certain Chrestus” [Christ]. Perhaps many came back after Claudius’s death in 54 A.D. Paul’s letter was addressed to a Church with members from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds. </p><p>In July of 64 A.D., more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, many Christians were put to death because of their “hatred of the human race.” Peter and Paul were probably among the victims. </p><p>Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in 68 A.D. at the age of 31.</p> American Catholic Blog While the future may be uncertain to us, we can rest comfortably in the loving control and sovereignty of our Heavenly Father. We can trust his plan, and we can rely upon his fatherly design and control.

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