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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

The Debt

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

"The Debt" is a U.S. version of the 2007 Israeli film "Ha-Hov." It tells the story of three young Mossad agents (played by Jessica Chastain as Rachel, Marton Csokas as Stefan, and Sam Worthington as David and later by Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciarán Hinds) who are sent to East Berlin to capture a Nazi war criminal, Dieter Vogel (Jesper Christensen) and bring him to Israel to stand trial for war crimes.
 
They succeed in capturing him but he escapes after a very tense and dangerous effort to sneak him out of the city. Stefan convinces Rachel and David to agree to tell their superiors that they killed Vogel. They agree. Stefan and Rachel marry while David resigns from the Mossad and disappears – only to return.
 
“The Debt” is an interesting title. Whose debt is it? The three spies who lie are indebted to the truth? Vogel must pay his debt to humanity for his crimes?
 
Ultimately, the toll taken on Rachel and David in particular, is too much to bear and each, in their own way, resolve a dilemma that Stefan takes in his stride, as long as it does not reveal that he is amoral. Or is he a patriot?
 
This is a very provocative film and though the subject explores the deepest and darkest recesses of the human heart and our own inhumanity to one another, the film has substance, it is interesting and extremely well acted and directed.


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Mary Magdalene: Except for the mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been a persistent legend in the Church that she is the unnamed sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50. 
<p>Most Scripture scholars today point out that there is no scriptural basis for confusing the two women. Mary Magdalene, that is, “of Magdala,” was the one from whom Christ cast out “seven demons” (Luke 8:2)—an indication, at the worst, of extreme demonic possession or, possibly, severe illness. </p><p>Father Wilfrid J. Harrington, O.P., writing in the <i>New Catholic Commentary</i>, says that “seven demons” “does not mean that Mary had lived an immoral life—a conclusion reached only by means of a mistaken identification with the anonymous woman of Luke 7:36.” Father Edward Mally, S.J., writing in the <i>Jerome Biblical Commentary,</i> agrees that she “is not...the same as the sinner of Luke 7:37, despite the later Western romantic tradition about her.” </p><p>Mary Magdalene was one of the many “who were assisting them [Jesus and the Twelve] out of their means.” She was one of those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his mother. And, of all the “official” witnesses that might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given. She is known as the "Apostle to the Apostles."</p> American Catholic Blog Jesus does not save us as individuals, but as members of His Body. We are not just people—unconnected and isolated arms and legs. We are a people—in fact, the People of God.

 
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