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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Fast Food Nation

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Absorbing albeit bleak multiplotted expose excoriating the fast food industry for its dangerous, unsanitary and exploitative working conditions, from the perspective of a fictitious burger franchise's marketing executive (Greg Kinnear) who goes to Colorado to investigate conditions at their plant; a young cashier (Ashley Johnson) whose uncle (Ethan Hawke) urges her to improve her life, despite the complacency of her unmotivated mother (Patricia Arquette); and a young Mexican immigrant couple (Catalina Sandino Moreno and Wilmer Valderrama) struggling to build a better life. Director Richard Linklater's skillful dramatization of Eric Schlosser's nonfiction book (they co-wrote the script) is sometimes preachy and the ending intentionally inconclusive, but the issues raised are timely ones, while the cast (including Bruce Willis, Bobby Cannavale and Kris Kristofferson) offers solid, selfless performances. Partly subtitled. Rough and crude language, a couple of briefly intense, if nongraphic, sexual encounters, fleeting partial nudity, innuendo, some gruesome slaughterhouse shots and drug references. 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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Martha: Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother’s death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death. 
<p>No doubt Martha was an active sort of person. On one occasion (see Luke 10:38-42) she prepares the meal for Jesus and possibly his fellow guests and forthrightly states the obvious: All hands should pitch in to help with the dinner. </p><p>Yet, as biblical scholar Father John McKenzie points out, she need not be rated as an “unrecollected activist.” The evangelist is emphasizing what our Lord said on several occasions about the primacy of the spiritual: “...[D]o not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear…. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:25b, 33a); “One does not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4b); “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6a). </p><p>Martha’s great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother’s death. “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27).</p> American Catholic Blog One of the difficulties we may have when our lives become unmanageable is that we find dealing with other people to be difficult and we may even struggle to maintain a relationship with God. Caring people especially can find themselves carrying unnecessary crosses as they become lost in the maze of trying to meet everyone’s crazy expectations—including their own!

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