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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Black Snake Moan

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Extremely lurid, but ultimately redemptive, melodrama set in rural Tennessee about an aging blues singer (Samuel L. Jackson) who nurses a badly beaten nymphomaniac (Christina Ricci) back to health, and gets her to overcome her drug and sexual addictions, conquering his own inner demons in the process. Writer-director Craig Brewer pulls out the stops with an intentionally florid style, while the impressive performances of the leads -- as well as those of John Cothran as a benevolent preacher, S. Epatha Merkerson as an empathetic friend and Justin Timberlake as an emotionally damaged soldier who loves the young woman -- overcome the more outrageous plot elements, The high quotient of sex, violence and foul language -- which walks the finest of lines between morally objectionable and dramatically valid -- will seriously limit the film's appeal to audiences, Catholic and otherwise. Pervasive rough and crude language and profanity, racial epithets, strong sexuality including a couple of graphic encounters without nudity, premarital situations, upper female nudity elsewhere, violence and drug use. 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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Sharbel Makhluf: Although this saint never traveled far from the Lebanese village of Beka-Kafra, where he was born, his influence has spread widely. 
<p>Joseph Zaroun Makluf was raised by an uncle because his father, a mule driver, died when Joseph was only three. At the age of 23, Joseph joined the Monastery of St. Maron at Annaya, Lebanon, and took the name Sharbel in honor of a second-century martyr. He professed his final vows in 1853 and was ordained six years later. </p><p>Following the example of the fifth-century St. Maron, Sharbel lived as a hermit from 1875 until his death. His reputation for holiness prompted people to seek him to receive a blessing and to be remembered in his prayers. He followed a strict fast and was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. When his superiors occasionally asked him to administer the sacraments to nearby villages, Sharbel did so gladly. </p><p>He died in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Christians and non-Christians soon made his tomb a place of pilgrimage and of cures. Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1965 and canonized him 12 years later.</p> American Catholic Blog You cannot claim to be ‘for Christ’ and espouse a political cause that implies callous indifference to the needs of millions of human beings and even cooperate in their destruction.

 
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