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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Pirates of the Caribbean:
On Stranger Tides


By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

In this fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, Captain Jack Sparrow is once again trying to escape from the British – this time causing pirate-style chaos right in the center London. He carriage-surfs, much to the delight of the audience. He must discover who is impersonating him and how to find a ship, since the Black Pearl has been sunk, while checking in with his dad (Keith Richards) before shoving off.

This time, it is imperative that he beat the Spaniards and his pirate nemesis Barbarossa (Geoffrey Rush), who has a legitimate commission from King George to find the fountain of youth, before anyone else.

Sparrow ends up on the ship run by the pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his supposed daughter, Anjelica (Penelope Cruz). Sparrow and Anjelica know one another and they spend the film sparring with one another as much as everyone else.

The film actually addresses themes of religion, superstition, fantasy, redemption through mankind’s endless search for eternal youth so as to avoid death. There’s commentary on clerical missionaries and celibacy, but I am not sure how serious this is meant to be. The voodoo doll, that everyone knows is superstition, calls for some conversation between parents and children, just to make sure they understand it as a comic device rather than a supernatural way to control people.

Any other film might get bogged down in details or a message, but “On Stranger Tides” keeps tying the themes up with weaving rope and sails – literally. The scenic effects, special effects, and art direction express the complex craft of making a highly entertaining multimillion dollar film that keeps our attention from the opening scene.
There are not many female characters in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and it is interesting to analyze their roles in the stories. This is why you must stay with this film until the last credit rolls, or you might get the wrong idea about who really wins the day.




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Joan of Arc: 
		<p>Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically-motivated trial, Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.</p>
		<p>Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux (southeast of Paris), Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as Sts. Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch.</p>
		<p>During the Hundred Years War, she led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of Orléans and Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, she was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvis, the judge at her trial; Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men's clothes. The English resented France's military success–to which Joan contributed. </p>
		<p>On this day in 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.</p>
		<p>Remembered by most people for her military exploits, Joan had a great love for the sacraments, which strengthened her compassion toward the poor. Popular devotion to her increased greatly in 19th-century France and later among French soldiers during World War I. Theologian George Tavard writes that her life "offers a perfect example of the conjunction of contemplation and action" because her spiritual insight is that there should be a "unity of heaven and earth."</p>
		<p>Joan of Arc has been the subject of many books, plays, operas, and movies. </p>
American Catholic Blog A surfer becomes a better surfer as he spends more time in the water and learns from his friends and experiences how to improve. It is so with the virtues too. They’re actionable—which means our ability to pursue the good improves with practice!

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