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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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Louis of France: At his coronation as king of France, Louis IX bound himself by oath to behave as God’s anointed, as the father of his people and feudal lord of the King of Peace. Other kings had done the same, of course. Louis was different in that he actually interpreted his kingly duties in the light of faith. After the violence of two previous reigns, he brought peace and justice. 
<p>He was crowned king at 12, at his father’s death. His mother, Blanche of Castile, ruled during his minority. When he was 19 and his bride 12, he was married to Marguerite of Provence. It was a loving marriage, though not without challenge. They had 11 children. </p><p>Louis “took the cross” for a Crusade when he was 30. His army seized Damietta ini Egypt but not long after, weakened by dysentery and without support, they were surrounded and captured. Louis obtained the release of the army by giving up the city of Damietta in addition to paying a ransom. He stayed in Syria four years. </p><p>He deserves credit for extending justice in civil administration. His regulations for royal officials became the first of a series of reform laws. He replaced trial by battle with a form of examination of witnesses and encouraged the use of written records in court. </p><p>Louis was always respectful of the papacy, but defended royal interests against the popes and refused to acknowledge Innocent IV’s sentence against Emperor Frederick II. </p><p>Louis was devoted to his people, founding hospitals, visiting the sick and, like his patron St. Francis (October 4), caring even for people with leprosy. (He is one of the patrons of the Secular Franciscan Order.) Louis united France—lords and townsfolk, peasants and priests and knights—by the force of his personality and holiness. For many years the nation was at peace. </p><p>Every day Louis had 13 special guests from among the poor to eat with him, and a large number of poor were served meals near his palace. During Advent and Lent, all who presented themselves were given a meal, and Louis often served them in person. He kept lists of needy people, whom he regularly relieved, in every province of his dominion. </p><p>Disturbed by new Muslim advances in Syria, he led another crusade in 1267, at the age of 41. His crusade was diverted to Tunis for his brother’s sake. The army was decimated by disease within a month, and Louis himself died on foreign soil at the age of 44. He was canonized 27 years later.</p> American Catholic Blog God passes through the thicket of the world, and wherever His glance falls He turns all things to beauty. <br />–St. John of the Cross

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