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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Youth Without Youth

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Source: Catholic News Service

Visually rich but dramatically deficient fable in which a 70-year-old Romanian scholar (Tim Roth) regains his youth and acquires superhuman powers -- as well as a split personality -- after being struck by lightning, is protected and given a new identity by his doctor (Bruno Ganz), romances a Nazi spy (Alexandra Pirici) but evades her masters who want to study him, escaping to Switzerland, where he falls in love with a tourist (Alexandra Maria Lara), who looks exactly like the deceased woman he loved in his youth and who has also been struck by lightning with equally unusual effects. Writer-director Francis Ford Coppola's film captivates the eye but numbs the mind as it moves at a snail's pace through a series of surreal images and didactic conversations. Graphic nonmarital sexual activity; side, rear and upper female nudity; strong imagery of a burn victim; light sexual references; and suicide theme. 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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Joachim and Anne: In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises. Not only is his mother’s family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed. Even the names <i>Joachim</i> and <i>Anne</i> come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died. 
<p>The heroism and holiness of these people, however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people. </p><p>The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis, and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past. </p><p>Joachim and Anne—whether these are their real names or not—represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah, but remain obscure.</p> American Catholic Blog My hope is that my children reach beyond me in character. I don’t want to be their moral ceiling. That makes me responsible to guide and discipline them in directions I don’t always follow. And above all, to show them mercy for their human frailty, as I ask them to show me that same mercy for mine.

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