Movies about Saints my way

Temptation

Salvador Dali’s Temptation of St Anthony

With the Golden Globes finished, and the Academy Awards around the corner, I wanted to publish this long overdue. I often find Catholic Saints film a bore. For fifth grade catechesis, maybe, but not much for inspiration in my faith. For Greater Glory & There Be Dragons pushed the Action and Intrigue. They attempted to make Saint stories suitable for Big Budget / Big Screen Cinema. In 2014, we had Biblical epics picked up by Directors who may have been atheists. The Gospel According to St Matthew, directed by atheist, marxist, homosexual Pasolini, is on the Vatican’s list of top faith films.

While many Catholics dream of big budget, suround sound, 3-D, nationally screened Saint films, I wonder what could be lost. Some saints might get their action sequences. Most saints are dealing with interior dilemmas that just cannot be communicated in the same manner as Big Budget / Big Screen Cinema. You might have to talk to directors who have dealt with smaller scale, intimate portrayals, accompanied by character development. On the one hand, you might limit the audience. On the other hand you might reach an audience (that wouldn’t waste their time on a cheesy sentimental saint film) for an intelligent, thoughtful, artfully crafted film experience around a particular saint.

Classic Film Biopics often portray the subject’s life through a series of episodes. Contemporary Film Biopics typically center around a crystallizing event in the subject’s life. Unfortunately, most Saint films tend to rely exclusively on the classic biopic style. For example, Lincoln dealt with the passing of legislation, rather than entire series of episodes of his life. While the Song of Bernadette (1943) attempts her entire life, Bernadette (1988) captures the apparition event. Most Saint or Pope movies employ the Classic Episodic style Biopic.

Finally, they are portrayed as spiritually unconflicted and morally uncomplicated. That is not always a bad thing, but that would not work for many of the subjects that I haveselected. When I speak of character development, there has to be a mountain in the heart that is moved by faith. There has to be some sort of challenge that they are to face, and that is more meaningful and inspiring than watching a subject never flinch in the face of adversity. I am sure that some people would like to see movies about miracles, stigmata, or zapping fireballs at pagans (see Patrick below), but were we to be approaching stories of human persons becoming saints, it might be the most effective and powerful method. Besides, when you are focusing on covering 60 years in 100 minutes, you miss a the emotion, or you miss the passion

For my proposed ideas, some I have thought about for the past several years. A few have suggestions for a director. I have no interest in suggesting actors, so that it is clear that this list is meant to emphasize how having a skilled director could do a lot more for a film than having some attractive faces.

Augustine
One of my saint film disappointments in recent times was Restless Heart about Augustine. As an Augustinian, I certainly had high hopes. The central theme of Augustinian Friendship as a communal discovery of Truth was absent. The sort of personal conversations among confidants was missing. Sometimes I wonder if you had a director like Richard Linklater, you might be able to capture some of the banter which is essential for a film portraying Augustine. It wouldn’t hurt to also have an Augustinian scholar brought on board to consult, as they do in many other historical pieces. We are, after all, entrusted by the Church with the Spiritual and Theological Legacy of Saint Augustine.

Martyrs
Almost any group of martyrs in the history of the Church could be portrayed as a compelling drama for the big screen. Unfortunately, most Catholics filmmakers are more interested in making something that is okay for children. Films have been made portraying violence while minimizing gore, this would not be that hard. I do think of Cecilia, Felicitas, or Perpetua as possible protagonists if we are dealing with early Rome. Alfonso Cuaron, of Gravity and Children of Men has taken on complicated nuanced dramas, and I could see something like this being taken on by him.

Antony of Egypt
Lets face it, the early desert monks don’t look good on a vintage kitsch prayer card. They are not pasty-skinned enough, dainty blonde enough. Think, weathered face, squinty eyed (Clint Eastwood). The Temptation of Antony is one of the oft-repeated paintings throughout art history, and I wonder what an intelligent film director would do with it, and add his twiest. Because, let’s face it, a film like this could subvert the modern cultural paradigm which sees temptation as either insurmountable or as pleasurable. Out of the other ideas mentioned, this one wouldn’t lend itself easily to lighthearted humor. David Fincher and Tim Burton are two completely different director’s, who would take this in very different directions, but could do something awesome with it.

Francesco d’Asis
Many people’s visions of Francis are as a gleeful sprite gracefully prancing around Assisi singing like Snow White to the little birdies. They completely miss the fact that he left behind his urban dandy of a cloth-merchant old man for the callous hands of a wild and rugged stone chapel. Francis was a short man, kind of like X-Men’s Wolverine. I do believe that a Francis movie can find a good way of mixing playfulness with manliness. After seeing Prince Avalanche, something I would like to find in a Francis movie, David Gordon Greene might be able to pull something similar.

Thomas the Apostle
Christianity has existed in Southern India within a century of Christ’s crucifixion. All of the Eastern Christian Churches often appear different than what we expect Christianity to be. Having a film portraying early Malabar or Malankara Christians would, in many ways, be earth-shattering for our stereotypes of Christianity as a Western Religion. This could even be an enthralling story with Thomas as a supporting character or catalyst, rather than a protagonist. Slumdog Millionaire was a joint operation in England and India, and this would be what I would hope for with something like this, however, I wouldn’t want to see Danny Boyle (who did a work about Saints in Millions), as much as a local director.

Patrick
A few years ago, I saw a Saint Patrick movie, where he was going around zapping pagans with fire. There is a desperate yearning to make a Catholic movie into a big screen spectacle. I find my heart moved by his story, and would prefer to have something more dramatic. Years ago, there was a little Irish animated feature The Secret of Kells (2009). It portrayed a group of Christian Monks creating the Book of Kells. It had its share of fairies and folklore, and was meant to be for children. I have wondered what it were like to have short stories of some of the important Irish Saints: Cuthbert, Brendan, Brigid, and of course Patrick.

Mother Theresa
Here is someone that is still in the popular imagination among Catholics, as well as some secular humanist types. Younger Catholics don’t know who she is. I admit, that I am not a card carrying member of her fan club, and there could be a moment or two in her life that is worth capturing. I am impressed that she caused a ceasefire, she got a Nobel Peace Prize. These could be instances. It is also known that she did not feel internal spiritual consolations for the last part of her life. This is the sort of thing that works good on film. I don’t know that I have an idea of a director for this one (as I am not as familiar with her), but one person suggested Parish Hilton should be cast to play her.

Bonus: Hipster Pope Benedict
Ratzinger was forced to join the Nazi youth. He deserted, broke the law by going to the seminary, and became a priest. It could be a sort of wartime star crossed romance, except falling in love with God, and perhaps enjoying beer and having a friend cat. This wouldn’t go through the rest of his life, in fact becoming the pope would be irrelevant to this story that could be wrapped up in the climactic event of him being accepted into the seminary.

Making Augustine Viral

Several years ago, I created a tumblr and twitter page for Augustinian posts. These posts primarily consisted of photos, quotes, and other paraphernalia of our Augustinian Life, Spirituality & Tradition. I also wrote several brief didactic posts on these topics. If you viewed my WordPress page, you may have found links to several of the blogs that I have posted there.

I recently brought in another student Friar, Maxime, to collaborate with me on this. I however, have decided to make a few design revisions, and plan on making several posts in the near future. Please consider viewing, following, sharing and linking!

Reading & Studying Augustine: Why confessions may not always be the best place to start

Yesterday, I wrote about Augustine’s Confessions, today I want to write about the rest of his works. This post is especially written for anybody who has picked up the Confessions, and found it too confusing to continue. This is also for people who are interested in the Church Fathers, or particularly Augustine, but are somewhat at a loss from where to start (or go) after the Confessions. If you look at the bottom you can see which works are easier to read, and which are more challenging.

Augustine was incredibly popular in his day. Today, he is exiled from popular devotion, and left for those fancy inte-mallectuals over there. You don’t find Augustine statuettes or prayer cards in the Cathedral giftshop or your grandma’s purse. Despite his renown in his day, he is relatively untapped.

Despite reverence for Augustine among young Catholics, they dare not his literary corpus that includes a Spiritual Autobiography, the Confessions & the Retractions, Theological Books:  Trinity & City of God; Polemical Works: Against Heresies, Donatists, Pelagians, Arians, Manichees etc; 270 Letters; Pastoral Works; Many Exegetical Works on the New Testament, Commentaries on John’s Writings, and the Psalms, and 400+ Sermons.

They imagine a Monolithic Intellectual Bishop that smashed heretics to smithereens.  They look up his works, and don’t know where to start. They are allured to this succinct poetic quote. They feel drawn, they read the Confessions, their head spins, they never finish.

Augustine’s Confessions are not esoteric writing for spiritual elite, intellectually superior, or well-lettered persons, but the Confessions are not for everyone. Augustine wrote his Confessions for detractors, because he had nothing to hide. On the flipside, his Confessions were written at a time when printed works were not widely available. Therefore, it is unlikely that Augustine imagined that the Confessions would or should become his most widely distributed work.

What is behind this discrepancy of Augustine

There is an unusual discrepancy between the modern unapproachable Augustine and the popular Augustine of his time. Augustine was seized by the people to become their bishop. Before becoming bishop, Augustine would take the long way travelling between towns. He was attempting to avoid towns that he knew would make him bishop. Keep in mind, this was all before Augustine was a priest. Augustine’s intended to develop a new form of monasticism based on friendship and charity, not by becoming a clergyman, and not by asceticism and remoteness to the cities. Augustine was popular to an illiterate Church, how can he be so unknown to today’s literate Church?

It is clear that Augustine was renown for his preaching and speaking, not for his writing? Augustine has 400+ Sermons intact today. A Sermon, an Exposition on the Psalm, a Homily on a passage from the Gospel of John is packed with practical and spiritual advice that I am sure his flock cherished. Christians of Augustine’s time were not generally interested in the self-disclosure of the Confessions, as the meaning of the Scriptures for their own lives. They did not go to Augustine to hear him talk about himself, they came to Augustine to hear him talk about Christ, God’s revelation to humankind. In Augustine’s day, the starting point and ending point on Augustine’s literary works were only his works dealing with Scripture.

Browse any bookstore shelf, and you can find the Confessions & The City of God. If you are studying theology, or in part of a bookclub, or have a decent short commentary, I don’t recommend the City of God or the Trinity. I also don’t recommend them, because there are so many other better places to start. Augustine’s Sermons & Scriptural Works have not been widely available in English.

Augustine’s Works in English

An internet search of Augustine will lead you to New Advent’s archives of his writings. It is free. However, you will not find any commentaries on Augustine’s works. You get what you pay for, and you may not understand what you are reading. I do recommend taking a look over it. I especially recommend that if you have read the Confessions, and didn’t like it, to read a Sermon here, so you can see the difference. Not only is reading long term on the computer a problem for most people, but the translations of Augustine here tends to be more than a century old.

Catholic University of America Press, for almost a century, has endeavored to translate the Church Fathers into English. Most of Augustine’s works, in this series, were translated between 70 and 40 years ago. These are serious translations principally aimed at Patrology students and scholars. All Hardcover (only) starting at $35+. Missing in this series are most of Augustine’s Sermons and his commentary on the Psalms, but you may still find some of his exegetical works including the Homilies on John’s Gospel and Epistles. It should be clear that these are a reputable source for Augustine’s works, and I highly recommend them. However, I think that there is another more accessible (and complete) Augustine series available.

The Augustine Heritage Institute has set out to complete translations into English of the entire literary corpus of Augustine into an accessible and contemporary style. The Augustine Heritage Institute consists of Augustinians, and other international English speaking scholars on Augustine. The majority of his works are currently only available in hardcover, but many works that are worth looking at are also available in paperback, and a few in Kindle.

It is in this series that you find the Confessions endorsed by Augustinians: Maria Boulding’s English translation. The most recent publishing consists of Augustine’s Exegesis on the New Testament, to which I highly recommend. The City of God has been published in the past two years in Paperback and Kindle. A series of Writings dealing On Christian Belief is available in Paperback, and contains many shorter treatises on the faith that people will find accessible, particularly the Enchiridion (Handbook) on Faith Hope & Love.

You can find all five volumes of the Commentary on the Psalms in Paperback, as well as the currently available First Volume on Augustine’s Homilies on the Gospel of John. Augustine’s Homily on the Epistle of John is available in a slim volume, as well as on Kindle. Although the complete set of Sermons are only available in Hardcover, a single volume Essential Sermons is available in Paperback and Kindle.

So far, New City Press has yet to publish an anthology of Augustine’s entire corpus. There is a Vintage Classics anthology “Late Have I Loved Thee,” on Augustine’s writings on Love. There you will find some of his Sermons, Letters, Commentaries on the Psalms and Scriptures, which could be some of the best places to start. I do, however, find that the translations more convoluted then New City Press.

So, I have classified them below, from Beginner to Intermediate, to Advanced. I have placed The Confessions on intermediate, because I don’t think it is the best departure for Augustine studies for everyone. I have exclusively relied on New City Press editions of Augustine. I have placed Amazon links for print, and kindle where available.

Beginner

Works for beginners require a basic understanding of Sacred Scripture. Even reading the short introductions in most Catholic Bibles will suffice.

These selections are generally shorter. A Sermon might be a few pages. A Commentary on a Psalm may also be a few pages (or several). These would not require a long term commitment. Some of these consist of shorter treatises of Augustine.

Deeper study into Church History, Ancient Philosophy, Theology & Scripture will illumine more, but much can be received without a study of these.

Essential Sermons
|    Paperback    |    Kindle    |

Expositions on the Psalms
|    I Paperback    |    II Paperback     |    III Paperback    |    IV Paperback    |    V Paperback    |    VI Paperback  |

Homilies on the First Epistle of John
|    Paperback    |    Kindle    |

Enchiridion on Faith, Hope & Love (The Augustine Catechism)  Also available in On Christian Belief
|    Paperback    |    Kindle    |

On Christian Belief
|    Paperback    |

Intermediate

I would recommend that these works be studied after reading the short Introductions & Commentaries, or other writings / studies on these works. I also think that some initial study of Theology, Church History, and/or Ancient Philosophy should be a prerequisite.

Confessions
|    Paperback    |    Kindle    |    Study Edition    |

New Testament I & II
|    Paperback    |

Homilies on the Gospel of John I
|    Paperback    |

Marriage & Virginity
|    Paperback    |

On Genesis
|    Paperback    |

Advanced

I would not recommend reading these without becoming more familiar with Theology or Ancient Philosophy.  Neither would I recommend reading these without having first explored the commentaries from these books, or other articles about these works. 

Teaching Christianity
|    Paperback    |    Kindle    |

The City of God
|    Vol I Paperback    |    Vol I Kindle    |    Vol II Paperback    |    Vol II Kindle    |

Selected Works on Grace & Pellagianism
|    Paperback    |

The Trinity  
|    Paperback    |    Kindle    |

BONUS: If Beginner is too intimidating!

These are links to a few devotional type books. None of them actually cover an entire literary piece of Augustine, perhaps they are daily reflections. They would also help familiarize people with Augustine.

Day by Day with Saint Augustine by Fr Donald Burt, OSA

15 Days of Prayer with Saint Augustine by Fr Jaime Garcia, OSA

Augustine of Hippo by Fr Thomas Martin, OSA

Augustine Day by Day

Daily Meditations with Saint Augustine

8 Reasons Why Augustine & The Confessions still Matter

20140826_152853I believe that plenty of people who call themselves atheists, agnostics, or renounced their Catholic faith are not irreedemably damned. I believe that not so much because God doesn’t damn people, but more, because many of them just think that they are atheists, agnostics or not-Catholic anymore. Augustine, as he describes in his Confessions, makes it clear that God drew close to him, in spite of Augustine’s sinful life, and drew him back.
Augustine was taught about Jesus as a child, by his Mother, Saint Monica. He was not necessarily raised pagan, he was just never baptized. He even would search for the name of Jesus in pagan literature. He drifted, joined a cult, became a skeptic, and eventually found his home in communion with the Church.

  1. God is not some bearded man in the sky who created the world in six 24 hour days, so many people leave the Church, and declare that they are agnostic or atheist. Augustine was deeply troubled by a literal interpretation of Genesis, probably just as troubled as many intelligent adults are by Modern Evangelical Fundamentalists. Augustine describes this in his Confessions.
  2. Young People swear that they had religion “crammed down their throat.” Augustine took a Sea Voyage at Night, from Africa to Rome, to get away from his Mom who wanted him to be Catholic.
  3. Temptations are tempting because they seem to feel good. Augustine makes no qualms about covering up the internal conflicts we face, about the gruesome delight of sin. He also does not justify himself by evading the fact that these same sins leave you incredibly bereft. Augustine’s candid discussion of Sin, Grace & Redemption would resonate with many young people.
  4. We both know what it is to have a Broken Heart. Many young people are putting off marriage, many of them are just as cynical about finding someone worth marrying as they are about finding a religion worth committing too. Augustine describes the heartbreak he experienced when it didn’t work out with a woman he loved.
  5. As Augustine matures, so does his perspective on God, Faith & the Church. I believe that many young people claim agnosticism without realizing this is part of maturation. I think they are turned away by Catholics who have had an easier time at their faith, not realizing that this Negative Way is part of Spiritual Maturation.
  6. People wonder if religions is useless. Augustine became disillusioned with a narrow perspective of Catholicism before returning. He also became disillusioned with many other Religious cults of his time, including Philosophy & Manicheanism. Conversely he also credits non-Christian pagans with being stepping stones on his way to the fullness of Truth in the Church. I think many people who leave the Church because they think that we teach that being non-Catholic instantly damns one to hell.
  7. Augustine does not always have easy answers, in fact his Confessions often presents unanswered questions. Some Catholics find genuine comfort in Church Teachings which are stated clearly. Many people, including myself, find quick, easy, and clear answers constricting. Augustine’s Confessions reminds us of the importance of Mystery.
  8. Ultimately, Augustine’s Confessions are not so much about himself, but about God’s work in his life. You can always read plenty about Augustine if you want to know him, including a biography from his long time friend Saint Possidius. Since his Confessions are about giving Glory to God, they will provoke readers to see God working in their own life.

UPDATE (8.30.14) Be sure to look up Reading & Studying Augustine to find the preferred translation of the Confessions, and some other easier to read works by Augustine.

10 Tips on Discerning Religious Life

Saint Augustine Monastery, Austin Hall Arcade, San Diego, CA. Where I dwell and stroll to Morning Prayer & Mass each morning.

I have met several Vocation Wrecks, who can never manage to get close to deciding what to do with what God has given.

Sometimes they are given really lousy vocation advice. To deal with vocation wrecks, to comfort people, to dispense scrupulous young people from the misery of discernment, they give them bad advice. Worst is that God gives you a desire. This is an attempt to comfort people who want to be married, assuming that they think marriage is evil or something. I have met more people who cannot make a decision because they desire two mutually exclusive vocations. Second awful vocation advice is telling people that they will find peace. More on that below. I could actually go on about the lousy vocation advice that people who grew up in sheltered ethnic (Irish / Italian / German) parishes tell young people who have become spiritually obese on pop culture and consumerism.

I have found myself repeating many of these to many people. Sometimes I not even giving advice to discerners, but explaining the process to people who have a lot of misconceptions. I believe that most of those misconceptions are shared by people who may be called, but never looked into it. So I gathered these into ten points.

  1. If you begin to feel strangely drawn, begin to have a desire, you should look into it. If you begin to find yourself defensive, opposed, or repulsed by it, it probably requires you to look again. I used to think “They Wouldn’t Let Me Rap.” I met a Sister who used to think Nuns were ugly. If you have no emotional reaction besides a little gratitude or cheer, kindly move on.
  2. Do not Passively Discern in your head or your imagination. Do not think that by “praying about it” to yourself is actually discernment. If you have felt drawn or repulsed by it, become an Active Disciple, and then see how you feel about it.
  3. Sometimes a desire for Consecrated Life is simply a call to Radical Discipleship. Spend more time reading the Scriptures, especially the Gospel. Have a Master/Disciple relationship with Christ. Pray daily. Befriend the Saints. Participate in service to the Church or the community. Go to Eucharistic Adoration. Deepen and grow your commitment to Christ, & the church. See a Spiritual Director.
  4. Sometimes it is a good idea to defer discernment. If you are younger than a Junior in college, if you just broke up, or got rejected by a potential special someone, if someone close to you has died, if you have moved to a new city or state, or if you are changing jobs, it is a good idea to at least let 8 months pass before any serious committed discernment. I am not saying don’t discern, it is difficult to decide. Also, a yearning that persists through this is valid.
  5. A conflicted desire for both Married Life & Consecrated Life deserves a critical look. If marriage appears more comfortable, or includes more perks, you need to be honest, both come with their own Crosses. Many people NEVER have a desire for Consecrated Life. The fact that you do means you should look.
  6. You WILL NOT find immediate Peace, instead you find trepidation. All the Prophets & the Saints felt incredible turmoil. They found no Peace until they gave themselves over to a calling. Being afraid of a Vocation to Religious Life requires that you face it, not run from it. If may feel comfortable to turn away from it. If you feel drawn, but afraid, running won’t give you peace, it will only give you comfort. What is the worst thing that can happen, you find God’s plan for you in Religious Life and you discover immeasurable Love & Joy in Christ
  7. Talk to a Religious. Visit a Religious House, a Convent, or Seminary. Spend a portion of your day with a Sister or a Priest. Attend Mass several days a week. Do a weekly Holy Hour. Deepen your commitment to discipleship. Attempt to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Try the single life for a few months. This is Active Discernment.
  8. You don’t join a religious order for yourself, you join for Christ, His Church, and that community. You don’t pick a habit or patron saint or location that suits your fancy. Eventually all the superficiality and sweetness will wear out, and you will realize that you are stuck with a group of quite unremarkable human beings. This is not a sign to leave or not, but you have to look deeper in yourself and the community you want to join.
  9. Invariably, the moment you decide to actively discern or apply the boy or girl of your dreams WILL magically appear. GOD DOES NOT OR NEED a few bored lonely people with nothing better to do. God wants you to make a choice. Entering religious life does not make everyone else completely unattractive.
  10. Do not wait for 100% certainty to join. No Religious Order expects that. It is easier to leave a Religious Order within a couple years than a Marriage. Do not wait to attain 100% holiness or practice perfect chastity for every millisecond of every day. Marriage IS NOT the magic cure for lust, people have lustful thoughts after being married, and can even fall in love with other people who they are not married to. The point is growing up and moving past your emotions, comforts of 100% certainty or comprehensive preparedness.

Tomorrow, April 24, my community will be celebrating the Conversion of Saint Augustine. As some of you know, I am an Augustinian Friar, and we, as well as many other Religious Orders, have a calendar of unique Feasts. April 24 commemorates Augustine’s conversion, as perhaps any conversion ought to mark celebration (Luke 15:7). Historically, April 24 would have more likely marked Augustine’s actual Baptism at the Easter Vigil, rather then his conversion in the garden…

New Evangelizers: Augustine & Conversion

My personal review of Restless Heart, the new Augustine film

I had the privilege of viewing the new film, Restless Heart, on the life of Saint Augustine.

I struggled going in, considering for how long I envisioned what it should be like. Indie, and artsy. Cinematographic interplays of darkness & light, and a lot of visually stunning natural beauty shots. A non-orchestral soundtrack, perhaps a string quintent, and some folksy songs. A non-linear story, focusing primarily on Augustine’s Christian life, drawing on images illustrated from the Confessions. Alas, none of that would likely work, or be translated from my heart.

The film we watched, Restless Heart, was obviously a more mainstream, and international endeavor. It was not too-Hollywood, neither was it too hagiographical (a la family-friendly saint lifestory). It had its strengths, but perhaps there was so much wrong with it. Many people in our community were very bothered by the lack of historical accuracy, whereas I was more troubled by the aesthetic cheapness.

The overall strength, was the actual character of Augustine. He was so charismatic and popular, attractive by the voice and the preaching. Augustine had an amazing voice, and I think they nailed it in this film. At times, we get a sense of a personal conflict by the actor, but we could have used much more on the part of the film to accentuate this.

Visually, there could have been a lot more then making it like your typical melodramatic romance. As well, the score was too overly done and lacked earnestness and honesty. Aside from the historical liberties, there was much that is so significant in Augustine, from an Augustinian perspective, which was not acknowledged in the film. The importance of friendship was not included (Alypius was not even a character). You get no glimpse of Augustine’s passion of discovering God amidst a community of friends. Instead, he is on a singular quest, in which his whole conversion scene almost feels disembodied.

Augustine was transplanted in todays religion-secular struggle, relativism-objectivism, faith-agnosticism, were the primary lenses in which Augustine was expressed in this film. Augustine is made into a much more intellectual seeker, then a passionate lover of Truth. I did appreciate the angle of this film, and it was able to incorporate his love of rhetoric/public speaking. However, it just felt like was more interested in dealing with the dynamic then some of the more complicated aspects of Augustine’s personality.

That being said, Augustinian Spirituality has a special place for Interiority & the Search for Truth. Having this theme focused on film may do well for a lot of people. It was moving at times, in as genuinely human it came across at times. I am very hesitant to put an Augustinian (personal or community) stamp of approval on this one, but I still encourage people to view it.