Culture

New biographies highlight brave contemporary Catholics

Two recent releases by Liturgical Press survey the lives of Father Rutilio Grande and Shahbaz Bhatti, both martyrs for the faith in their respective homelands of El Salvador and Pakistan.

Beauty is skin deep in ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’

In this latest retelling of Hoffmann's beloved tale, rich visuals mask a dramatically weak film, whose positive messages are hammered home with excessive force.

No denying artistic notes of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ or moral qualms

The underlying message of the biopic on the rock group Queen, that at least committed gay relationships can pass ethical muster, obviously clashes with both Scripture and tradition.

‘Halloween’ is no cause for celebration

The direct sequel to the 1978 original features Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her iconic role as the survivor of a serial killer. Now in its 40th year, the franchise skips the chance to reflect on the impact of evil, aiming instead for the jugular and creating a bloodbath.

‘The Hate U Give’ reveals racial conflict through teen’s eyes

In a bravo performance, the 16-year-old protagonist who lives in a black neighborhood but attends a predominantly white private school experiences a police shooting and the struggle for justice.

Story of Army chaplain in Iraq shows an ‘Indivisible’ marriage

More admirable than engaging, the film conveys the personal traumas and triumphs of soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan. It also presents a durable marriage while exploring issues of doubt among the faithful.

Comfort, wisdom fill new books on grieving through death

From Paula D'Arcy's reflections on grieving sudden deaths (her own husband and daughter) to Father Ronald Rolheiser's compassionate take on suicide, their books offer practical hope in grief.

Pope calls for new alliance between young, old to change the world

In an effort to counteract today's "culture of waste" that too easily marginalizes or ignores the young and the elderly, the book creates a model of storytelling, dialogue, connection and reflection to help inspire these two groups to come together and rediscover older people's lost "treasure of their wisdom."

Cartoonist’s comics lighthearted but aim to provoke thought about faith

We're not privy to what our guardian angels say about us, but artist Louis Hall, 54, enjoys imagining their conversations and antics in the comics about life, faith and eternity he creates primarily for young people.

‘Native America,’ Oct. 23, PBS

With "modern scholarship and native knowledge," the program examines and affirms Native Americans' way of life, which is "intimately connected to earth, sky, water and all living things" as manifest in the ancient cities they created, and the traditions they preserve today.