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Up and Down

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Source: Catholic News Service

Absorbing kaleidoscopic interweaving of several plot strands which combine to create a vivid picture of the present-day, post-communist Czech Republic: black-market smugglers who inadvertently steal a baby; a likable but loutish ex-soccer hooligan now on probation (Jiri Machacek) whose partner (Natasa Burger) is obsessed with having a child and "buys" the infant; and a seriously ill college professor (Jan Triska) who, after many years, summons both his grown son (Petr Forman) from Australia and his long-separated wife (Emilia Vasaryova) to meet the woman (Ingrid Timkova) he's been living with for many years -- and by whom he sired a child -- and hopes to marry. Jan Hrebejk's film, shot in actual Prague apartments and streets, brilliantly deals with heavy-duty issues like cultural assimilation, national identity, love and hate, and the effects of globalization in an entertaining Altmanesque way, and ties the disparate story elements together neatly by the conclusion. Rough, profane and crude language, racial epithets, a brief but sordid sexual situation, a short scene of violence with some blood. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.

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Th&eacute;r&egrave;se of Lisieux: "I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul." These are the words of Thérèse of the Child Jesus, a Carmelite nun called the "Little Flower," who lived a cloistered life of obscurity in the convent of Lisieux, France. (In French-speaking areas, she is known as Thérèse of Lisieux.) And her preference for hidden sacrifice did indeed convert souls. Few saints of God are more popular than this young nun. Her autobiography, <i>The Story of a Soul</i>, is read and loved throughout the world. Thérèse Martin entered the convent at the age of 15 and died in 1897 at the age of 24. She was canonized in 1925, and two years later she and St. Francis Xavier were declared co-patrons of the missions. 
<p>Life in a Carmelite convent is indeed uneventful and consists mainly of prayer and hard domestic work. But Thérèse possessed that holy insight that redeems the time, however dull that time may be. She saw in quiet suffering redemptive suffering, suffering that was indeed her apostolate. Thérèse said she came to the Carmel convent "to save souls and pray for priests." And shortly before she died, she wrote: "I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth." </p><p>On October 19, 1997, Saint John Paul II proclaimed her a Doctor of the Church, the third woman to be so recognized, in light of her holiness and the influence on the Church of her teaching on spirituality. Her parents, Louis and Zélie were beatified in 2008.</p> American Catholic Blog How glorious, how holy and wonderful it is to have a Father in Heaven.

 
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