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Evansville, Indiana
February 13, 1998     The Message
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February 13, 1998

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The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Faith Alive=. at Mater Dei: Movies, TV and Editor's note: Each week, the Message sends questions in advance, related to specific topics in Faith Alive, to coop- erating schools and religious education classes. Excerpts of responses are published under the headline, "Faith in the Marketplace," found on page 9. Below are additional comments, essays and excerpts drawn from student responses at Mater Dei High School, Evansville• They responded to the question, "Was there a film that generated a discussion in your home about faith? In what way?" Fi!msandFamily .................................................................................................................................................... By Kelly S. Martin In recent years, it has become more and more diffi- cult to sit and watch a popular movie with family and friends without blushing. Hollywood's ability to shock and amaze might sell tickets, but it does little to add to America's conventional morals and values. Most movies in contemporary society are there to entertain and pander, rather than expand thought and provoke emotion. Only through sex and violence are we expected to feel or contemplate• God is ignored by the media, perhaps because of the familiarity of the subject, or not having the daring to offend Americans on a truly personal level• The few films that have dared to peer into those dark waters have been met with mixed messages. Though critics may praise them, they often fail to generate a large box office. These movies can be so powerful that the few who see them may never forget them. That power dri- ves many movie-goers away. A few years ago, I rented the movie "Dead Man Walking." It is the story of a convicted murderer on death row. I cried throughout the entire movie• Before this movie, I was neither for or against capital pun- ishment. I kept hearing convincing reasons for both sides. When I finished the movie, I became radically opposed to the death penalty. The film touched upon the reality of the situation, and I knew I could never allow another person to kill someone with my okay, no matter what the circumstance. I discussed my revelation with my parents• My mother explained the reasons the Catholic Church had against capital punishment, and also the idea of redemption and forgiveness. My father disagreed with my mother and me, and a fight of wills ensued. All of us kept our original opinion, but we did talk for hours about it. I will always credit that film with helping shape my values. I suppose that this film is special because of the rare and extreme effect it had on me, but I wish there were more films that helped clar- ify my religion and faith. Dead,Man ,Wa|00ng ............................................................. . ................................. ' By Stephanie Rexing My family watches many films together.... As Catholics, my family agreed with [Sister Helen] Prejean's beliefs against capital puynishment. Even though these people on death row have committed serious moral crimes, no one deserves to die before their time. It is only condoning the action of murder. My family all felt Prejean was right and admired her for her strong faith. By Jeremy Herrmann Each episode of Touched by an Angel shares a basic plot of how angels sent by God help a person who has turned away from God return to him .... One evening my family had the rare opportunity of spending time together. It was during this time that we watched the show• In some way or another, the show helped each of us to find reassurance in our faith. •.. It never hurts to see faith in action. Hoosiers ........ By Ryan Scheu In my life there have been many films that I've seen demonstrate faith. The one film that stands out in my mind at this time is Hoosiers. Hoosiers is a film about a small Indiana high school, Milan, winning the state championship.despite the overwhelming odds. The reason I chose this film is thatit conveys faith in many different people in all sorts of situations. At first, one might overlook the faith displayed in Hoosiers, but when they take a good look into it they see. When their coach is about to get fired, the play- ers put their faith in the people of the town and stick up for their coach, then the people see how the play- ers like their coach and vote to keep him. In the state playoffs the coach gets thrown out of a game. The assistant coach takes over and draws up a game plan. The players put faith into the game plan and go on to win. In the state championship against a much big- ger school, in front of a large, hostile crowd, Milan forgets about everything surrounding them and put faith in their abilities and pull off the impossible. If people sit down and dissect a film, they could • find numerous examples of faith. I compare the play- ers in Hoosiers having faith in their coach to the disci- ples putting faith in Jesus. Neither the players nor the disciples questioned what they were doing, they just knew it was the right choice. By Jon Strauss The movie I am going to talk about is A Time to Kill. This is a movie that I personally loved start to finish. This movie brought a lot of discussion up in my household. My brother and I both agreed, whereas my mother did not. One person in this movie who showed faith was the lawyer. The lawyer was put through hell because his faith told him that he was right defending his client. This lawyer was threatened and hurt by the KKK, just because he was defending a black man• This man knew that his client had a right to act the way he did, so he stood in his belief. This movie brought great discussion into my house- hold• The family was split in whether or not he was right in killing those men who raped his daughter. I believe he was right shooting those men. My mother didn't believe so. I felt he was right because our jus- tice system would not punish those men right, so he acted like any loving parent would. My mother feels no matter how bad the justice system is, no one has the right to play God. No matter what anybody said, no one could change the other one's view. The man, Schindler, who seemed to be let his actions be dominated by human life. He was a man of little or no listening and acting upon his conscience man who exemplified what faith was, know whether or not this man he lived what God asks of each of us. My faith grew by having compassion life and spirit. It showed me what you can and how one man can ence. L I and R.dy ...................................................................................................................... By Steve Jost A Rudy is a movie that has the main character show- ing his faith. Rudy, the main character, was a football player and his goal was to play football for the dom- inant Fighting Irish of Notre Dame .... He finally got into Notre Dame and played football. At the last game he got to play and on his first play, he sacked the quar- terback. I have had many discussions with a variety of peo- ple about this movie. My uncle says it's a tearjerker because he tries so hard and prays so much and it still takes him a while to get in the school. He also loved the way Rudy got a sack on the first play he played in and the way they carried him off the field. On the other hand, my cousin feels it is nothing more than a person trying, to get on a football team• I think it's a good movie that shows a person's faith. It shows his determination and his faith with God. I think the world of films can help parents to com- municate with children about faith. Some films show pay Qf. Five By Sam J. people's faith, but most don't. I think parents would appreciate it if Hollywood would create more'movies like Rudy because it has a lot about faith in it. The movie also shows hard work and determination of an excellent student and an outstanding football player. Faith in Film ........................ By Laura Reising How can human emotions be so stirred by hatred and compassion at the same time? The movie Schindler' List stirred these emotions in my family and me. We went as a family to go see this movie and for days we talked about the effect it had on us. I have to admit I am my faith or personal beliefs. Today, when speak out, I feel ambeing judged by think they are superior• The fact is, if riot, they would be the one speaking. I instilling a strong moral base, and every once and a while, parents can help dren to become the rary times, parents can utilize build a strong base for their ... An intelligent screenpla) spark an important moral discussion, stage for the parents to work on. which began a moral debate in Wars. My family is practically in trilogy; we are always watching the special editions. My mother asking us about the similarities between and God. Without that stage would never have been able to kee r me in one place for that long. " By In the movie, Titanic, there were ........ focused on faith. •.. The character I saw the most She was a very strong character. She forced to marry for family experiences on the ship made her see that of the "better half" would only make her the rest of her life. She knew life wasn't wasted. Experiencing what she did, I her to grow in faith. By Meag, h The one movie that I can remember feel is a good example of faith is wild Broken. [A young girl is blinded while i val act.], Most people, when faced with a powering, would give up. Not her. up the love of performing her show. •.. After my sister and I discussed the enjoyed it for a couple reasons. We courage and faith. We both could relate t and she brought us to believe that potential for her determination and character was down to earth and personal level. It's one of our By A television program, Party of Five, trust and faith. On this program the five ch They have had to learn how to trust b : get things done. ... These characters have also learned in God. They had to have faith that them make it without their parentS. •.. My f;amily and I discussed and we came to realize many things. God is always looking out for us in ways; whether it be through a through God himself, friends or