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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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Hilary of Arles: It’s been said that youth is wasted on the young. In some ways, that was true for today’s saint. 
<p>Born in France in the early fifth century, Hilary came from an aristocratic family. In the course of his education he encountered his relative, Honoratus, who encouraged the young man to join him in the monastic life. Hilary did so. He continued to follow in the footsteps of Honoratus as bishop. Hilary was only 29 when he was chosen bishop of Arles. </p><p>The new, youthful bishop undertook the role with confidence. He did manual labor to earn money for the poor. He sold sacred vessels to ransom captives. He became a magnificent orator. He traveled everywhere on foot, always wearing simple clothing. </p><p>That was the bright side. Hilary encountered difficulty in his relationships with other bishops over whom he had some jurisdiction. He unilaterally deposed one bishop. He selected another bishop to replace one who was very ill–but, to complicate matters, did not die! Pope St. Leo the Great kept Hilary a bishop but stripped him of some of his powers. </p><p>Hilary died at 49. He was a man of talent and piety who, in due time, had learned how to be a bishop.</p> American Catholic Blog True freedom lies in the ability to align one’s actions freely with the truth, so as to achieve authentic human happiness both now and in the life to come. Jesus promised, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31–32).

The Passion and the Cross Ronald Rolheiser

 
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