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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Chimpanzee

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

“Chimapnzee” is a documentary from DisneyNature. It follows a baby chimp, Oscar, from birth through the death of its mother after an attack by another group of chimps led by Scar – though the narrator (Tim Allen) explains it was probably a leopard that killed her. The other chimps want the food in the territory where Oscar’s group lives. When Oscar’s mother dies, Freddie, the head of their group, surprisingly “adopts” little Oscar.
 
This behavior is exceedingly rare among primates.
 
“Chimpanzee” was released for Earth Day (April 22) and it is beautifully filmed. There is some peril when the animal groups fight and attack the other.
 
I thought the narration was banal; sometimes it wasn’t logical though I am hard pressed to come up with an example.  The cuteness factor is strong.
 
Some might be tempted to think there is a “survival-of-the-fittest theme” emphasized here. It did not seem that way to me though this behavior is seen in nature every day. If anything the film over “humanizes” the chimps. It seems to want to create an emotional bond between animals and audience so that as the audience grows (the target audience has to be 6-10) they will respect habitats and nature.
 
This is a good thing, but it doesn’t save poor writing.
 
The cinematography is brilliant, however, and watching these wild animals is wondrous.


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Columban: Columban was the greatest of the Irish missionaries who worked on the European continent. As a young man who was greatly tormented by temptations of the flesh, he sought the advice of a religious woman who had lived a hermit’s life for years. He saw in her answer a call to leave the world. He went first to a monk on an island in Lough Erne, then to the great monastic seat of learning at Bangor. 
<p>After many years of seclusion and prayer, he traveled to Gaul (modern-day France) with 12 companion missionaries. They won wide respect for the rigor of their discipline, their preaching, and their commitment to charity and religious life in a time characterized by clerical laxity and civil strife. Columban established several monasteries in Europe which became centers of religion and culture. </p><p>Like all saints, he met opposition. Ultimately he had to appeal to the pope against complaints of Frankish bishops, for vindication of his orthodoxy and approval of Irish customs. He reproved the king for his licentious life, insisting that he marry. Since this threatened the power of the queen mother, Columban was deported to Ireland. His ship ran aground in a storm, and he continued his work in Europe, ultimately arriving in Italy, where he found favor with the king of the Lombards. In his last years he established the famous monastery of Bobbio, where he died. His writings include a treatise on penance and against Arianism, sermons, poetry and his monastic rule.</p> American Catholic Blog There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church—which is, of course, quite a different thing. –Bishop Fulton Sheen

 
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