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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Last King of Scotland, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Morality tale set in the 1970s based on the novel by Giles Foden, about a young Scottish doctor (James McAvoy) who, in search of adventure, travels to Africa, where he becomes the personal physician and eventually the confidant of the charismatic but ruthless Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). Initially blinded to the despot's atrocities by the seductions of power, he later opens his eyes to the heinous truth and his own complicity. Director Kevin MacDonald blends fact and fiction to mostly riveting effect, with Whitaker delivering a towering performance. Though dramatically justified, the brutality is quite gruesome at times. Intense scenes of violence including a graphic depiction of torture, brief grisly images of massacre and dismemberment, several sexual encounters with nudity, an abortion subplot, recurring rough and crude language and profanity. 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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Matthew: Matthew was a Jew who worked for the occupying Roman forces, collecting taxes from other Jews. The Romans were not scrupulous about what the "tax farmers" got for themselves. Hence the latter, known as "publicans," were generally hated as traitors by their fellow Jews. The Pharisees lumped them with "sinners" (see Matthew 9:11-13). So it was shocking to them to hear Jesus call such a man to be one of his intimate followers. 
<p>Matthew got Jesus in further trouble by having a sort of going-away party at his house. The Gospel tells us that "many" tax collectors and "those known as sinners" came to the dinner. The Pharisees were still more badly shocked. What business did the supposedly great teacher have associating with such immoral people? Jesus' answer was, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' I did not come to call the righteous but sinners" (Matthew 9:12b-13). Jesus is not setting aside ritual and worship; he is saying that loving others is even more important. </p><p>No other particular incidents about Matthew are found in the New Testament.</p> American Catholic Blog The most appealing invitation to embrace the religious life is the witness of our own lives, the spirit in which we react to our divine calling, the completeness of our dedication, the generosity and cheerfulness of our service to God, the love we have for one another, the apostolic zeal with which we witness to Christ’s love for the poorest of the poor.

 
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