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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Memoirs of a Geisha

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Source: Catholic News Service

Beautifully filmed and finely acted adaptation of Arthur Golden's best-seller about a girl (Ziyi Zhang) sold by her family into being a geisha in pre-World War II Japan, and her over-the-years love for a businessman (Ken Watanabe) who bought her ice cream as a child. Director Rob Marshall has crafted what is basically an unrequited romance of the kind Hollywood used to make, though one must make cultural allowances for the concept of a geisha -- strictly speaking, a woman trained to converse with and entertain men with dance and music -- but there is a discreetly portrayed sexual component to the story as related here. Some sexual banter and discreetly filmed sexual situations, including a sexual assault, and a couple of violent episodes. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus: The actions of these two influential Jewish leaders give insight into the charismatic power of Jesus and his teachings—and the risks that could be involved in following him.
<p><b>Joseph</b> was a respected, wealthy civic leader who had become a disciple of Jesus. Following the death of Jesus, Joseph obtained Jesus' body from Pilate, wrapped it in fine linen and buried it. For these reasons Joseph is considered the patron saint of funeral directors and pallbearers. More important is the courage Joseph showed in asking Pilate for Jesus' body. Jesus was a condemned criminal who had been publicly executed. According to some legends, Joseph was punished and imprisoned for such a bold act.
</p><p><b>Nicodemus</b> was a Pharisee and, like Joseph, an important first-century Jew. We know from John's Gospel that Nicodemus went to Jesus at night—secretly—to better understand his teachings about the kingdom. Later, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus at the time of his arrest and assisted in Jesus' burial. We know little else about Nicodemus.
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