Nativity Story – The latest!!!

Check out the web site

www.thenativitystory.com

and

The Nativity Story

 

New Line Cinema has launched the official website for director Catherine Hardwicke’s The Nativity Story, opening worldwide in theaters on December 1.

At the site, you can watch the new teaser trailer and a featurette on the drama. You can also view a photo gallery and read the synopsis.

Written by Mike Rich, the film stars Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ciaran Hinds and Shaun Toub.

 

http://www.thenativitystory.com/

 

Release Date: December 1, 2006
Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Screenwriter:
Mike Rich (Finding Forrester, The Rookie, Radio, Miracle)
Starring: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Oscar Isaac, Ciaran Hinds, Shaun Toub

Produced By: Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen
Genre: Drama
 Plot Summary: THE NATIVITY STORY chronicles the humble and miraculous story of Mary (Oscar-nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes, Whale Rider) and Joseph (Oscar Isaac) that spans nearly two years – culminating in their departure from Nazareth and their 100-mile journey to Bethlehem,

to the birth of Jesus Christ.  

 

The studio and filmmakers have worked hard to ensure that the film is both historically and biblically accurate.  A wide spectrum of Christian New Testament scholars and historians has been involved in the pre-production process. This is the first time in over 50 years that a biblical story has been released by a major motion picture studio…

If you watch the “extras” section, you’ll see me on the set! (Look closely; it goes by fast… Sr. Rose)

Quinceanera, Crash win Humanitas Prizes

32nd HUMANITAS Prize ™ WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Los Angeles, CA – June 28, 2006. Eleven writers took home a share of $145,000 in prize money for films and television shows that “entertain, engage and enrich the viewing public.” Over 350 writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives gathered today at the Hilton Universal Hotel to celebrate great writing at the 32nd HUMANITAS Prize.

Frank Desiderio, President of the HUMANITAS Prize, began the luncheon by reminding theaudience of the significant role that film and television can have in motivating behavior.

Desiderio stated, “the scripts that we honor today deal with some of the most critical issuesfacing society: medical ethics, racism, global warming and third world debt. We want to move people from their comfort zone and foster dialogue.”

HBO FILMS President, Colin Callender, received the “Kieser Award” for his vision as an executive, his leadership in the industry and for his ability to create an environment where filmmakers can succeed. The “Kieser Award” is named after producer and priest

Fr. Ellwood “Bud” Kieser, the founder of the HUMANITAS Prize.

For the first time in over ten years a Special Award was given to a documentary film. “An Inconvenient Truth,” directed by Davis Guggenheim, chronicles former vice president Al Gore’s decades long commitment to the issue of global warming. The film weaves scientific data and personal anecdotes into a cohesive narrative that challenges viewers.

“Although the film is alarming, it doesn’t call us to despair, but rather to get involved,” added Chris Donahue, Executive Director of the HUMANITAS Prize.

The 32nd HUMANITAS Prize winners are:

Feature Film Category ($25,000)

CRASH Written by: Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco (Lions Gate Films)

A 36-hour period in the diverse metropolis of post-Sept. 11 Los Angeles is the theme of this unflinching drama that challenges audiences to confront their prejudices. Cited “for its call to reach out with respect and compassion to all of our brothers and sisters.”

90 Minute Category ($25,000)

THE GIRL IN THE CAFÉ Written by: Richard Curtis (HBO)

The story of a hard-working, shy civil servant Lawrence, and his life-changing relationship with the mysterious girl he meets in a café opposite Downing Street. Cited “for the clarion call to universal concern.”

Sundance Feature Film Category ($10,000)

QUINCEANERA Written by: Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (Sony Classics) As Magdelena’s fifteenth birthday approaches, her life is consumed by thoughts of her boyfriend, her Quinceañera dress, and the Hummer limo she hopes will show up on her special day. Life seems so simple in her Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, until fate delivers an unwelcome surprise. Cited “for its enlightened view of living in a multi-cultural world.”

60 Minute Category ($15,000)

HOUSE: Three Stories Written by: David Shore (FOX)

Dr. House gives the med students a class they’ll never forget as he weaves the stories of three patients who all present similar symptoms. Cited “for its poignant probe into the pain and confusion that comes when someone we love disappoints us.”

30 Minute Category ($10,000)

MY NAME IS EARL: Pilot Episode Written by: Greg Garcia (NBC)

Charismatic smalltime crook Earl J. Hickey wins $100,000 in the lottery and then is immediately hit by a car. Cited “for its light hearted portrayal of how we can right our wrongs.”

Children’s Animation Category ($25,000)

MISS SPIDER’S SUNNY PATCH FRIENDS: A Froggy Day in Sunny Patch (Nick, Jr.)

Written by: Alice Prodanou, Michael Stokes, Steven Sullivan

The Spider kids befriend a loveable, non-conformist frog named Felix, but keep their friendship under the radar, to protect Felix from Spiderus and his corps of bumbling anti-frog vigilantes. Cited “for its whimsical portrayal of the importance of friendships.”

Children’s Live Action Category ($25,000)

EDGE OF AMERICA Written by: Willy Holtzman (Showtime)

Inspired by true events – the story of Kenny Williams, an African-American from Texas, who comes to teach at the Three Nations Reservation High School in Utah. Cited “for showing that caring and compassionate adults can make a difference.”

Colin Marshall, a graduate student at Columbia University, was named the recipient of the “2006 David and Lynn Angell HUMANITAS Comedy Fellowship.” Marshall received a $10,000 stipend at the luncheon. His winning comedy spec script was an episode of “My Name is Earl.”

Since its inception in 1974, the HUMANITAS Prize has presented over 240 prizes and

dispersed over 2.5 million dollars in prize money to television and motion picture writers, whose work honestly explores the complexities of the human experience and sheds light on the positive values of life. Each year, the HUMANITAS Prize holds Master Writers Workshops presented by today’s leading writers. Winners of the HUMANITAS Prize have included: Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues); Alan Alda (M*A*S*H); David E. Kelley (The Practice); Horton Foote (William Faulkner’s OLD MAN); Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List); Tim Robbins (Dead Man Walking); Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting); Aaron Sorkin ( Sports Night, The West Wing) and Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me).

For more information, please visit the website at www.humanitasprize.org

 

(From the press release)

 

Superman Returns

 

       “You know there are only three things that sell newspapers,” Perry White (Frank Langella) practically shouts at reporter Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) in director Bryan Singer’s new film about the Man of Steel: “Sex, tragedy, and Superman!” 

 

 

Superman Returns, while showing no sex (but implies a one night encounter between Superman and Lois before he left five years earlier), delivers intense action and impending human and environmental tragedy, and brings audiences a new iconic image of a gentler Superman/Clark Kent transformed by the power of love.

 

Why the World Needs Superman

 

After a long absence Superman (Brandon Routh) returns from a search for his home planet, Krypton, that he found was truly destroyed. He returns to earth in fire. His “mother” Martha (Eva Marie Saint), driving the same old truck, comes to find him in the same field. Clark remembers his childhood when he discovered his super powers, and hears again the words of his father Jor-El (archived footage of Marlon Brando):

 

“Even though you’ve been raised as a human being you’re not one of them. They can be a great people, Kal-El; they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you… my only son.”

 

       

      Superman’s return is well-timed because Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) has been released from prison since Superman failed to make his court date to testify against him. Luthor gets a rich old woman to sign her fortune over to him on her death bed and with his goons and his moll, Kitty (Parker Posey), he sets out to build a new continent that will displace North America and other countries and land masses. He has melded the crystallized elements of kryptonite stolen from a science exhibition and crystals he stole from the Arctic where Superman used to go to commune with his father. Kryptonite is the only thing that can kill Superman. Luthor’s technological and elemental power-surge, if successful, will kill billions of people.

 

 

Clark gets his old job back at The Daily Planet. Jimmy Olsen (Sam Huntington) is thrilled to see him. Clark is startled to learn that Lois has a five year-old son named Jason (Tristan Lake Leabu). She is living with Richard (James Mardsden), an editor, but won’t marry him. She is to receive a Pulitzer Prize for her article, “Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman” and is stymied because White now demands she write one titled, “Why the World Needs Superman”. (“Don’t worry,” he tells her, “no one will notice. Pultizers are like the Academy Awards; after a while no one remembers what you got it for.”) The first day Clark gets back, Lois, and a whole plane full of reporters, must be rescued because of Luthor’s machinations. The rescue is beyond spectacular.

 

 

A Theological Reading of Superman Returns

 

        Many believers who have reflected on the 1978 film Superman: The Movie (that starred Christopher Reeve) noticed that it provided imaginative and plausible parallels with the Gospel. It seemed to have been written “with attention to both the theology of the Incarnation and the words of St. John’s Gospel (John 1:1-18) about the relation of the Son to the Father,” according to Lights, Camera… Faith: A Movie Lectionary, CycleA by Peter Malone, MSH and myself. We assign Superman: The Movie to dialogue with the readings for the Second Sunday of Christmas.

       

        Christian fans of The Movie will be happy to see that Superman Returns continues even more clearly to develop those Gospel parallels, moving from the mysticism of St. John’s Prologue into the reality of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus as recounted in John 18-20 (see readings for Good Friday or Easter Sunday). Without stretching the metaphor too far, Superman is a Christ-figure, that is, a character that embodies some aspects of the person and mission of Jesus, but with some flaws or imperfections. (In contrast, a Jesus-figure is an actor who actually plays the role of Jesus in films, such as Robert Powell did in Jesus of Nazareth in 1977 or Jim Caviezel in The Passion of the Christ in 2004.)

       

 

 

        Luthor is a parallel to Pontius Pilate or even Caesar, and his guards torture Superman and gamble at cards. He is also diabolical and dark, and everything he touches is ruined, shrouded in thedestructive forces of wind, rain, and fire, and colored with doom. The events in the film do not synchronize perfectly with Jesus’ life, but no matter. Superman, who has saved so many, must in turn be saved, and it is the love of a woman and a child that transform him when he takes the weight of the world on his shoulders. Superman’s side is pierced for humanity and his resurrection is magnificent. The Daily Planet staff, like the evangelists and witnesses of Jesus’ life, writes down everything they have seen and heard.

 

Three female characters stand out in Superman Returns. Lois is the love interest, and the question of whose son Jason is begins to emerge early on. Lois’ relationship with Superman is very romantic, and the proof of their love is their willingness to make sacrifices for one another. (This aspect of the plot is one Dan Brown would like; Superman’s super hero powers seem to be genetically transferable and he is interested in a lasting relationship.) Kitty, whom Luthor treats as if she were a poodle, lets herself be used at first, but when the moment comes, she, like the faithful women of the Gospels, becomes a hero. Finally, there is Martha, Clark Kent’s foster mother. She always believes in him, loves completely, waits, is steadfast, and never falters. Martha lets Clark be the man he has been called and sent to be.

 

Jason is the little child who leads the grown-ups on their quest and slowly becomes aware of who he is.

 

 

 

Sister Madonna Janet, FSP who came to the screening with me, said that some images of Superman hovering over the world reminded her of Salvador Dali’s masterpiece “The Christ of St. John”. “When Martha finds her son in the field,” Sr. Madonna also observed, “she holds him as Mary did Jesus in Michelangelo’s Pieta’.” To me, Superman seemed at times like an angel that brings news of salvation and a message of hope for the future, a symbol of God’s nearness to humanity.

 

Reading the Film

 

        Bryan Singer has directed an engrossing pop culture film with high entertainment – and inspirational – value, sprinkled with light humor. Superman Returns was effectively written by Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris, based on a story they developed with Singer using characters from the original DC Comic Books created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster. Here, the action is non-stop, the special effects are over the top and Superman’s feats unbelievable – but by the time we realize this, we have suspended belief and entered into the world of Metropolis and the lives of a small group of people we care about. The scene at the baseball stadium makes Spider-Man’s train-stopping heroics look feeble. If there is one glaring flaw in the film, it is the lack of ethnic diversity in the cast. Metropolis is a very white world; most cinematic universes today are populated with a real cross-section of humanity. It is also noteworthy that the familiar “Truth, justice and the American way” has been amended to “Truth, justice … and whatever…” (or something close to this.)

 

        Brandon Routh succeeds as Superman, mostly because he does not try to be Christopher Reeve, who for many of us was Superman, or even George Reeves of the 1950’s television series that I really liked as a kid. But Routh is almost too geeky as Clark Kent and he has really bad hair (Jason has inexplicably bad hair as well), but as Superman his hair is almost plastic perfect. Clark does not know how to be a regular guy and though his co-workers question his identity, his artificial demeanor never seems to enter their heads.

 

Superman’s physique is chiseled and his facial features so flawless that I wondered if his face was computer-generated. But you get used to it because his is a kind visage – and very easy on the eyes. Routh never goes beyond the gigantic role he has been given, and flies with humility through the concrete canyons of Metropolis where great men have gone before him. Image-wise, there are several iconic visuals of Superman that are so deliberately crafted that they made me laugh. Others inspired. In the end the movie was so entertaining I just went along for the ride.

 

        For reasons I will not go into here Lois never gets her Pulitzer. As the film concludes she is more than willing to write why the world needs Superman, indeed, a savior. Comic books and science fiction aside, that never changes.

 

An Inconvenient Truth Wins Humanitas Prize Special Award

 

HUMANITAS Prize Special Award to AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

Los Angeles, CA – June 21, 2006.

The documentary feature film “An Inconvenient Truth,” will receive a Special Award from the HUMANITAS Prize at its annual awards luncheon on June 28th. This is the first time in over 10 years that the organization has voted to grant a Special Award. “When evaluating films and television shows we ask, ‘does it make a significant contribution to the human family by communicating values, forming consciences and motivating human behavior?’,” commented Frank Desiderio, President of the HUMANITAS Prize.  “‘An Inconvenient Truth’ does all of that and more. It’s a very important film, we want to shine a light on it.”

“An Inconvenient Truth” chronicles former vice president Al Gore’s decades long commitment to the issue of global warming. The film weaves scientific data and personalanecdotes into a cohesive narrative that challenges viewers. “Although the film is alarming, it doesn’t call us to despair, but rather to get involved,” added Chris Donahue, Executive Director of the HUMANITAS Prize.

“I am thrilled that HUMANITAS has chosen to recognize “AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH” with such a rare and special award,” stated Al Gore. “Director Davis Guggenheim, the producers, Lawrence Bender, Laurie David and Scott Burns, and the co-producer, Lesley Chilcott are very deserving of this honor.”

“HUMANITAS has honored many outstanding films over the years and in doing so supports the achievements and sacrifices of filmmakers trying to change the world,” said executive producer Davis Guggenheim. “We are thrilled to be included in this great tradition.”

Although the HUMANITAS Prize is traditionally given for fictional stories, on occasion the Board of Directors has voted to give an award to a documentary film. In 1995, a Special Award was given to Bill Moyers and Judith Davidson Moyers for “What Can We Do about Violence?” In 1993, Mary Jo Peltier and Arnold Shapiro received a Special Award for “Sacred Silent: Ending and Exposing Child Abuse” which was broadcast simultaneously on ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS.

Since its inception in 1974, the HUMANITAS Prize has presented over 237 prizes and dispersed over 2.4 million dollars in prize money to television and motion picture writers, whose work honestly explores the complexities of the human experience and sheds light on the positive values of life. Each year, the HUMANITAS Prize holds Master Writers Workshops presented by today’s leading writers.

Winners of the HUMANITAS Prize have included: Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues); Alan Alda (M*A*S*H); David E. Kelley (The Practice); Barbara Hall (Joan of Arcadia); Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List); Tim Robbins (Dead Man Walking); Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting); Aaron Sorkin (Sports Night, The West Wing) and Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me).

For more information, please visit the HUMANITAS Prize website at

www.humanitasprize.org

 

Wordplay

First-timers, director Patrick Creadon and writer Christine O’Malley, have created an endearing film about crossword puzzles and the people who love them. Some are even obsessed by them. Everyone in the film plays him or herself.

 

At the center of the film is Will Shortz, editor and puzzler extraordinaire, of the New York Times’ Crossword Puzzles and the annual Crossword tournament held annually at the Marriott Hotel in Stamford, Ct.

 

 

Throughout the 90-minute documentary we meet former tournament winners and people who have been members of this unique community since its beginning in 1978. The final part of the film is about the surprise winner of the 2005 tournament.

 

I noticed some things about the puzzlers who are interviewed (including Jon Stewart who is hilarious, as well as former President Bill Clinton who said he likes to do the NYT crosswords because it lets him know what people are thinking about these days.)  Puzzlers (and winners of the tournament) as shown in the film are mostly white males, and many in the film are left-handed (does this say something about why they like to do puzzles? I don’t know…)

 

Someone in the film says that generally puzzlers in the U.S. are either musicians or experts in the computer field. The consensus of the opinions expressed about why people do crosswords puzzles is because they appeal to the human desire to figure things out and solve mysteries. The puzzle constructors, those who make the puzzles and submit them to the NYTimes are fascinating, as are the how and why the rules of creating puzzles came about. Did you know that the Sunday Times’ crossword does not have any words that are body parts or functions? It just won’t do.

 

Is it a Monday, or A Tuesday puzzle, asks Will shortz when puzzles are submitted. Or a Saturday or Sunday puzzle? Wonder what the difference is? Try them….

 

Like Spellbound, and Mad Hot Ballroom, it’s a joy to see a film about people having innocent fun doing something that makes community, promotes civility and learning, and can inspire people to be good at something different than the usual competitive fields (like football!) and that doesn’t include violence.

Nativity: Here’s the buzz

You may have noticed that a film named NATIVITY is beginning to appear in magazines such as Entertainment Weekly, Christianity Today, and this week’s Time. It stars Whale Rider’s Kiesha Castle-Hughes as Mary and Oscar Issacs as Joseph, with Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen; Lords of Dogtown) directing. Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog) is Elizabeth and Ciaran Hinds is King Herod. Mike Rich, who wrote Finding Forrester and The Rookie, penned the screenplay.

 

Whale Rider is one of my favorite films of all time, and when I learned that Kiesha was playing Mary, I thought, “This is perfect casting.” She’s fifteen now and just the right age to play Mary.

 

NATIVITY is about the year before Jesus was born as lived by Mary, her family, friends, Joseph. It also reflects the religious and socio-political situation of the times. NATIVITY will be released world-wide on December 1, 2006 by New Line Cinema.

 

It was an honor and a privilege to be included in a group of journalists (television, print, and online) in May to go to Matera, Italy, (south of Bari) where much of the film was being shot. (The action has now moved to Morocco.) We had the opportunity while visiting the “set” (several acres big; they were shooting Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem the day we were there) to speak with the producers, Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, writer Mike Rich (and his lovely wife, Grace), Catherine Hardwicke, Kiesha Castle-Hughes and Oscar Issacs.

 

Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Pasolini’s Gospel According to St. Matthew, and Christ Stopped at Eboli (based on the novel by Carlo Levi) were all filmed in Matera as well.

 

My feature article on NATIVITY will appear in St. Anthony Messenger (www.americancatholic.org) later this year, but I wanted you to know that this film is one of the good ones. Visiting the re-created villages of Nazareth and Bethlehem was inspiring; the script is warm and inviting. I think that NATIVITY will become the Christmas classic we will want to see every year.

 

Here are some of my photos. Watch this space! More to come. The group picture was taken in the hotel. I am standing in the doorway of Mary’s house in Nazareth. Matera is located in the “arch” of Italy’s “boot”. The other two pictures are of the production…

 
 

Road to Guantanamo

Coming on the heels of President George W. Bush’s May 8th remarks that he would like to close the prison at Guantanamo, Cuba, pending the outcome of a Supreme Court ruling on how prisoners there would be tried (www. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12675642/), and the recent suicides of three Guantanamo detainees on June 11th comes Michael Winterbottom’s award-winning film, The Road to Guantanamo. It opens in theaters nation-wide on June 23.

 

The gritty drama/documentary tells the story of the “Tipton Three”, Ruhal Ahmed, now 24, Asif Iqbal, 24, and Shafiq Rasul, 28, and the tortures they endured at the hands of the U.S. military while in confinement first at Camp X-Ray and then at Camp Delta from early 2002 until their release in 2004. The three Britons of Pakistani parentage, two of whom were teenagers at the time of their capture by the Afghanistan Northern Alliance in the weeks following 9/11, were in Pakistan for Asif’s wedding. While staying at a mosque rather than a hotel to save money they joined a large group of men going to Afghanistan to help their brothers.

                        (From the dramatization of the film)

While most Americans would deem it unthinkable to travel to Pakistan, never mind Afghanistan, following 9/11, “The young men did not speak the language, Urdu,” according to filmmaker Michael Winterbottom at a question/answer session following a screening on June 18th sponsored by Amnesty International. “They were young, not politically astute, and at the mercy of the people from the mosque that they were with. They probably thought it was an adventure or charity work they were going to do.”

 

Althoughthe men were able to account for their presence in Great Britain before arriving in Pakistan, (one was on probation and made consistent court appearances between 2000 and 2001; another worked), they were detained in unthinkable conditions without access to lawyers or even a phone call to their families while in prison. They were never charged with any crime.

 

“All non-Afghans were considered enemy combatants once the U.S. began its offensive,” Jumana Musa, Amnesty International USA’s Advocacy Director for Domestic Human rights and International Justice, told the same audience. “In a crude ‘scooping up process’ the U.S. was paying $5,000.00 for each non-Afghan they turned into U.S. and British forces by the Northern Alliance. Once they were in Guantanamo they were considered terrorists.”

 

“These men were not radical and not religious,” said Musa. “If you were a foreigner in Afghanistan, you were going to Guantanamo.”

 

The central theme of the film, however, is the dramatization of the prison regime in Guantanamo, the torture, isolation, and the absurd interrogations these young men endured while incarcerated. “You can change the terms to ‘stress positions” or loud music’ or use of ‘strobe lights’, but when you understand what these mean and how they were used together, they constitute torture to the rest of the world,” continued Musa.

 

Director Winterbottom, who won the Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear this year for the film, used a small crew of six or seven to make the film. When asked why he has a co-director (Mat Whitecross), Winterbottom responded, “He did everything I didn’t do. Once the young men agreed to the film, he spent a month with them, taking down hundreds of pages of transcript for the story. We had to compress much repetition (e.g. the interrogations) into the film’stimeframe to tell the story.” Winterbottom chose to use actors for the dramatization,recreating Camp X-Ray and Camp Delta, and the actual testimonies of the three men throughout which constitutes the documentary dimension of the film.

 

While the film offers much detail about the journey of the three young men (they started out as five) that is not always easy to follow, the film is effective and heart-breaking. One audience member asked how much dramatic license had been taken for the film and Winterbottom replied that it is based on the transcripts of the young men’s story, and they and their lawyer’s have seen it. He believes it is factual and true, though compressed for the film.

 

Winterbottom noted that none of the three men wanted to come to the United States to promote the film and that the poster for the film had to be changed. “We couldn’t use a picture with a hood on a man’s head; it was thought to be too upsetting.” At the end of the film each of the three men say what they learned from this experience. The lack of anger was impressive. One said that while before he was never religious, he has become so. The young man with the police record said this experience changed his life completely. And Asif, who did finally marry a young woman in Pakistan, said that it was time to move on with his life.

 

“Some detainees in Guantanamo are bad guys,” attested Musa, who has visited there with other NGO’s, but not allowed access to any prisoners and permitted only to see the remains of Camp X-ray from a distance and to be driven around the perimeter of Camp Delta. “But this doesn’t excuse throwing out the rule book” for the treatment of prisoners.

 

The Road to Guantanamo is astonishing on one level, and deeply evocative on another. I felt a great sadness and the burden of this knowledge. The film is a serious and worthy contributionto the growing filmography or genre about human rights violations ongoing in the world.AmnestyInternational hopes that people will talk about the film and to raise awareness. More information is available on their website, www.amnestyusa.org and educational materials area available on the film’s website: www.roadtoguantanamomovie.com.

 

Pope Benedict XVI wrote on Jan. 1, 2006, the World Day of Peace: “Peace appears as a heavenly gift and a divine grace which demands at every level the exercise of the highest responsibility: that of conforming human history-in truth, justice, freedom and love-to the divine order. Whenever there is a loss of fidelity to the transcendent order, and a loss of respect for that ‘grammar’ of dialogue which is the universal moral law written on human hearts, whenever the integral development of the person and the protection of his fundamental rights are hindered or denied, whenever countless people are forced to endure intolerable injustices and inequalities, how can we hope that the good of peace will be realized? The essential elements which make up the truth of that good are missing. St. Augustine described peace as tranquillitas ordinis: the tranquility of order.” Everyone should feel committed to service to the great good of peace. All people are members of one and the same family. An extreme exaltation of differences clashes with this fundamental truth.  We share a common destiny.