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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Miracle of St. Anna

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Powerful World War II drama about a kindhearted African-American soldier (Omar Benson Miller) who, together with three others from his segregated unit (Derek Luke, Michael Ealy and Laz Alonso), becomes trapped behind enemy lines in Italy where they must rely on a sympathetic villager (Valentina Cervi) and a partisan leader (Pierfrancesco Favino) for safety, while he protects a wounded local boy (Matteo Sciabordi). The script, adapted from his own novel by writer James McBride, contains much spiritual debate and reflection and pits Catholicism, as embodied by a heroic priest, against the brutality of the occupying Nazis. Director Spike Lee's ambitious effort to blend action, mystery, pathos and social commentary—though it sometimes leads to jarring tone shifts—ultimately proves an ardent emotional journey. Intense combat violence with gore, nongraphic sexual activity, adultery, upper female nudity, much rough and crude language, several uses of profanity, racial slurs. 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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Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus: The actions of these two influential Jewish leaders give insight into the charismatic power of Jesus and his teachings—and the risks that could be involved in following him.
<p><b>Joseph</b> was a respected, wealthy civic leader who had become a disciple of Jesus. Following the death of Jesus, Joseph obtained Jesus' body from Pilate, wrapped it in fine linen and buried it. For these reasons Joseph is considered the patron saint of funeral directors and pallbearers. More important is the courage Joseph showed in asking Pilate for Jesus' body. Jesus was a condemned criminal who had been publicly executed. According to some legends, Joseph was punished and imprisoned for such a bold act.
</p><p><b>Nicodemus</b> was a Pharisee and, like Joseph, an important first-century Jew. We know from John's Gospel that Nicodemus went to Jesus at night—secretly—to better understand his teachings about the kingdom. Later, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus at the time of his arrest and assisted in Jesus' burial. We know little else about Nicodemus.
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