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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Lust, Caution

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Source: Catholic News Service

Superbly crafted romantic tale of a young woman (Tang Wei in an extraordinary feature film debut) who becomes a spy for the resistance during the Japanese occupation of Shanghai in the 1930s and '40s, who must seduce a married collaborator (Tony Leung) in order to lure him to his death. Director Ang Lee's glossy adaptation of revered Chinese writer Eileen Chang's short story is a meticulously detailed, beautifully designed period thriller, recalling iconic Hollywood films of that era, with exquisite performances all around, making it all the more unfortunate that Lee felt it necessary to shoot the somewhat aberrant sex scenes so explicitly -- even if just a few minutes out of a long, serious-minded film -- precluding endorsement from a moral viewpoint. Subtitles. Graphic nonmarital sexual encounters, full-frontal and rear nudity, a violent stabbing death, adultery theme, vigilante justice, and a single use of the f-word. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is NC-17 -- no one 17 and under admitted.



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Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog A hero isn’t someone born with unconquerable strength and selflessness. Heroes are not formed in a cataclysmic instant. Heroism is developed over time, one decision after another, moment by moment, formed by a deliberate, chosen, and habitual response to life.

Keeping Mary Close by Mike Aquilina

 
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