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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Silk

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Picturesque but utterly vapid 19th-century period piece about a French ex-soldier (Michael Pitt) sent to Japan by a silk merchant (Alfred Molina) to purchase healthy eggs to restore the local silk business ravaged by a silkworm-egg epidemic; he becomes obsessed by a concubine (Sei Ashina) of the baron (Koji Yakusho) with whom he does business, while his schoolteacher wife (Keira Knightley) waits patiently behind. Francois Girard directs the story at an excruciatingly slow pace, and Pitt's droning narration -- he and the other French characters speak with flat American accents -- together with dialogue that is less than inspired create a general tedium unredeemed by a final plot twist. Upper female nudity, nongraphic sexual encounters, adultery theme, a restrained brothel scene and the image of a hanging corpse. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Giles: Despite the fact that much about St. Giles is shrouded in mystery, we can say that he was one of the most popular saints in the Middle Ages. Likely, he was born in the first half of the seventh century in southeastern France. That is where he built a monastery that became a popular stopping-off point for pilgrims making their way to Compostela in Spain and the Holy Land.<br /><br />In England, many ancient churches and hospitals were dedicated to Giles. One of the sections of the city of Brussels is named after him. In Germany, Giles was included among the so-called 14 Holy Helpers, a popular group of saints to whom people prayed, especially for recovery from disease and for strength at the hour of death. Also among the 14 were Sts. Christopher, Barbara and Blaise. Interestingly, Giles was the only non-martyr among them. Devotion to the "Holy Helpers" was especially strong in parts of Germany and in Hungary and Sweden. Such devotion made his popularity spread. Giles was soon invoked as the patron of the poor and the disabled.<br /><br />The pilgrimage center that once drew so many fell into disrepair some centuries after Giles' death. American Catholic Blog The ascension is about the final reunion of what appeared to be separated for a while: earth and heaven, human and divine, matter and Spirit. If the Christ is the archetype of the full human journey, now we know how it all resolves itself in the end. “So that where I am, you also will be” (John 14:3).

 
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