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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Breaking Dawn

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: Catholic News Service

SPOLIER ALERT!
 
Last year I reviewed the “Twilight” film franchise (“Twilight”, “New Moon” and “Eclipse”) as a whole in “The Tidings” as “basically a love story.” http://www2.the-tidings.com/2010/071610/movies.htm. I wrote about the influence of author Stephenie Meyer’s Mormonism and did not think there was evidence of much, especially to anyone unfamiliar with the tenants of Mormonism. With this new film, I think there the Mormon influence is evident, at least on the level of allegory.
 
With “Breaking Dawn Part I” we are nearing the end of the benevolent (the Cullens no longer hunt for human blood like their counterparts who do) vampire-werewolf-human saga. Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattison) finally marry after Bella has a gory vision of all the wedding guests in a huge pile, dead and bleeding.
 
A child is conceived while Edward and Bella are on their honeymoon, but something is not right. The baby is growing too rapidly. Jacob (Taylor Lautner), the shape-shifting werewolf who loved Bella since they were children, becomes angry that Edward does not intend to “turn” Bella into a vampire before their wedding night, as a pregnancy with a half-human, half-vampire child could kill her. And it nearly does.
 
Jacob, along with two others, leaves their pack to protect Bella and her unborn baby from the werewolves. The wolves fear that the mixed child (that Edward thinks is a monster that he wants Bella to abort but she refuses) will eventually destroy them. At the end of the film, Jacob “imprints” himself on the baby to save her (according to the law of the wolves, they cannot destroy an intended spouse who has been imprinted) thus claiming the child for a wife.
 
This male domination for salvation scenario is a bit creepy. Consider that Edward is a hundred years old and he has been grooming Bella for about three years now, though it seems like she is pursuing him. Now Jacob has “imprinted” on an infant girl, binding all of them. Interesting.
 
There is a lot of blood in this film and if anything links it to the Mormon faith, it is the symbolic nature of the blood connecting families, past generations, and even those yet to be born. As vampires are immortal, so are Mormon men who are the channels of salvation and immortality for their wives.
 
I wanted to see the film just to see what happens; I only read the first novel and while interesting to begin with, it seemed to turn to producing words about 2/3 of the way through.
 
Only Bella has to change in this series so far; the male figures act and react in relation to her choices. But is she really free?
 
Maybe the “Twilight” franchise is more than a romance after all.  And perhaps “Breaking Dawn Part 1” is more than a bloody mess that will introduce us to Part II due in 2012. You have to be really invested in the characters to make this film work for you.


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Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother (August 27), the instructions of Ambrose (December 7) and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, please fill my heart and soul with the confidence that you will always provide what I need, when I need it, and let me be obedient to you.

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