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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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Gerard of Lunel: Gerard, born into a noble family in southern France, showed an early inclination to piety—so much so that he received the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis at the age of five. When he was 18, Gerard and his brother, Effrenaud, hid themselves in a cave on the banks of a river and began two years of living as hermits. Both brothers then decided to go on a pilgrimage, in part to discourage the many visitors to the hermitage who had heard of their reputation for holiness. Making their way to Rome on foot, they spent two years there, visiting its many famous churches and shrines. 
<p>They intended to continue to Jerusalem, but Gerard collapsed on the way. While his brother went to seek help, he left Gerard in a simple cottage near Montesanto, Italy, but Gerard expired before his brother's return. </p><p>Many miracles are said to have taken place at Gerard's tomb, making it a favorite place of pilgrimage. People who were afflicted with headaches or subject to epilepsy experienced special relief through his intercession. The city of Montesanto has long venerated Blessed Gerard as its principal patron. He is sometimes known as Gery, Gerius or Roger of Lunel.</p> American Catholic Blog It is an astonishing truth that God made human beings in his image. An immortal, rational, free and loving God made beings who have immortal souls and who are rational, free, and made to love and to be loved. Human life is sacred because it specifically reflects the nature of the divine.

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