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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Jennifer's Body

By

Source: Catholic News Service

As scripted by "Juno" writer Diablo Cody, "Jennifer's Body" (Fox) is an unwieldy combination of comedy and horror that presents gore with relish and exploits adolescent sexuality.

The Jennifer of the title (Megan Fox) is a fetching but cynical student at a small-town high school who is both envied and despised by her peers. Despite her exalted social position, Jennifer has remained loyal to her friend-since-the-sandbox, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), constantly encouraging her timid, bespectacled pal to expand her horizons.

After a mysterious encounter with a visiting indie rock band led by scruffy singer Nikolai (Adam Brody), Jennifer is transformed into a cannibalistic demon preying on her male schoolmates. Needy gamely struggles to help, but eventually fears that her gentle boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons) may become the next item on the monster's menu.

Director Karyn Kusama's failed attempt to satirize teen female rivalry by inflating it into an occult struggle for life or death registers as nasty rather than clever, with Jennifer's rampages shown in bloody detail.

The girls' weirdly variable relationship veers from exchanging pent-up insults to a passionate, prolonged lip-lock that seems to confirm earlier hints of a sexual connection. Needy and Chip go even further in an explicit underage encounter, complete with condom use, that the script makes clear is not their first.

The film contains frequent savage violence, cannibalism, strong sexual content, including graphic (presumably underage) sexual activity and lesbian kissing, a couple of profanities, irreverence and much rough and crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

 Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions: Andrew Dung-Lac was one of 117 people martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. Members of this group were beatified on four different occasions between 1900 and 1951. All were canonized by St. John Paul II. 
<p>Christianity came to Vietnam (then three separate kingdoms) through the Portuguese. Jesuits opened the first permanent mission at Da Nang in 1615. They ministered to Japanese Catholics who had been driven from Japan. </p><p>The king of one of the kingdoms banned all foreign missionaries and tried to make all Vietnamese deny their faith by trampling on a crucifix. Like the priest-holes in Ireland during English persecution, many hiding places were offered in homes of the faithful. </p><p>Severe persecutions were again launched three times in the 19th century. During the six decades after 1820, between 100,000 and 300,000 Catholics were killed or subjected to great hardship. Foreign missionaries martyred in the first wave included priests of the Paris Mission Society, and Spanish Dominican priests and tertiaries. </p><p>Persecution broke out again in 1847 when the emperor suspected foreign missionaries and Vietnamese Christians of sympathizing with a rebellion led by of one of his sons. </p><p>The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old, executed in 1862. That year a treaty with France guaranteed religious freedom to Catholics, but it did not stop all persecution. </p><p>By 1954 there were over a million and a half Catholics—about seven percent of the population—in the north. Buddhists represented about 60 percent. Persistent persecution forced some 670,000 Catholics to abandon lands, homes and possessions and flee to the south. In 1964, there were still 833,000 Catholics in the north, but many were in prison. In the south, Catholics were enjoying the first decade of religious freedom in centuries, their numbers swelled by refugees. </p><p>During the Vietnamese war, Catholics again suffered in the north, and again moved to the south in great numbers. Now the whole country is under Communist rule.</p> American Catholic Blog To replace our sins with virtues may seem like a daunting task, but fortunately we can follow the example of the saints who have 
successfully defeated these sins in their lifetimes. They provide us with a way forward so that we, too, can live holy, virtuous lives.

 
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