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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Into the Wild

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Episodic but absorbing road movie, based on Jon Krakauer's 1998 biography of idealistic 22-year-old Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) who abandoned his home, troubled parents (Marcia Gay Harden and William Hurt) and sister (Jena Malone) after college graduation to avoid the "poison" of civilization and get back to nature, embarking on an epic two-year road trip from Atlanta to Alaska. Actor Sean Penn directed, wrote and produced the film, which gains in emotional power as it progresses, fueled by excellent performances, including those of Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, nonactor (one of several in the cast) Brian Dierker and especially Hal Holbrook, playing colorful characters Chris encounters on his journey, with underlying themes of family connection, individualism versus community and the primal pull of the wilderness, leading toward a moving climax of forgiveness, redemption and intense spirituality. Some rough language and profanity, upper female and brief full-frontal male nudity, the killing and then cutting up of an animal carcass, a beating, implied premarital situations and reference to a bigamous relationship. 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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Pius X: Pope Pius X is perhaps best remembered for his encouragement of the frequent reception of Holy Communion, especially by children. 
<p>The second of 10 children in a poor Italian family, Joseph Sarto became Pius X at 68, one of the 20th century’s greatest popes. </p><p>Ever mindful of his humble origin, he stated, “I was born poor, I lived poor, I will die poor.” He was embarrassed by some of the pomp of the papal court. “Look how they have dressed me up,” he said in tears to an old friend. To another, “It is a penance to be forced to accept all these practices. They lead me around surrounded by soldiers like Jesus when he was seized in Gethsemani.” </p><p>Interested in politics, he encouraged Italian Catholics to become more politically involved. One of his first papal acts was to end the supposed right of governments to interfere by veto in papal elections—a practice that reduced the freedom of the 1903 conclave which had elected him. </p><p>In 1905, when France renounced its agreement with the Holy See and threatened confiscation of Church property if governmental control of Church affairs were not granted, Pius X courageously rejected the demand. </p><p>While he did not author a famous social encyclical as his predecessor had done, he denounced the ill treatment of indigenous peoples on the plantations of Peru, sent a relief commission to Messina after an earthquake and sheltered refugees at his own expense. </p><p>On the 11th anniversary of his election as pope, Europe was plunged into World War I. Pius had foreseen it, but it killed him. “This is the last affliction the Lord will visit on me. I would gladly give my life to save my poor children from this ghastly scourge.” He died a few weeks after the war began and  was canonized in 1954.</p> American Catholic Blog If we have been saved and sustained by a love so deep that death itself couldn’t destroy it, then that love will see us through whatever darkness we are experiencing in our lives.

 
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