National Film Retreat 2011 – At Sea! Oct 7 – 10, 2011

The Catholic Media Group of Southern California, with the Partnership for Spirituality & Film invite you to the

Our film retreat group from 2009 - and a wonderful time was had by all!

Theme: Peace Making

Film Slate: TBD

Date: Friday, October 7 – Monday, October  10, 2011

Long Beach, CAEnsenada, Mexico – Long Beach, CA

Columbus Day weekend Prices:

Oceanview Double Cabins: $461.63 total pp

Deposit 100.00 PP due  March  18, 2011

Includes $50.00 onboard ship credit

Includes donation to Daughters of St. Paul/National Film Retreat;

To be matched by Carnival. Includes all film seminars, port charges and fees.

Includes taxes and tips.  (no envelopes needed on last day!)

Reserve your cabin at click on the group link in the upper right, scroll to Catholic Film Retreat, click the Details link

Or contact Ann-Marie Blaney by e-mail:

phone:  949-632-7155

Optional Insurance: Click on Extras, then click on; don’t forget insurance, Aprox. 6.5% of cost

Passengers must have a valid passport.

Film Retreat Directors:

Rev. Ron Schmidt, SJ, Hope Media Productions, Los Angeles

Sr. Hosea Rupprecht, FSP, Pauline Center for Media Studies, Los Angeles

Retreat questions call: Nanciann Horvath 714-394-4989

My first online movie reviews on

Visit American Catholic – St. Anthony Messenger for my first video reviews. They are quite brief: Rio, The Beaver, Thor, and There Be Dragons. Two longer, written reviews of The Beaver and There Be Dragons are also there.


There Be Dragons review

It is 1976. Journalist Robert Torres (Dougray Scott) is researching a Catholic priest, Josemaria Escriva, the founder of a Catholic group called Opus Dei, who had recently died amidst rumors of sanctity. Much to his surprise, Robert discovers that his estranged father, Manolo (Wes Bentley), grew up in the same village in Spain and even went to the same seminary. Robert travels from London to Madrid to find answers to his questions, but even after an eight-year silence, his father will not speak to him.

Manolo is a man haunted by his past. He was the child of wealthy parents while Josemaria’s father owned a chocolate factory that he lost when times turned bad. Early on Manolo became envious of Josemaria because he could see that the Escriva family was filled with love while his own father was stern and even cruel.

After a year in the seminary, Manolo leaves. Josemaria (Charlie Cox) however, becomes a priest. He gathers a few young men who are interested in becoming priests and living holy lives. They teach and work in hospitals. After a few years, Josemaria asks permission of the auxiliary bishop of Valencia (Robert Blythe) to found a community that will include laity, both men and women who will live separately, and even married couples. Their mission will be to teach others to find holiness in daily life and work.

Meanwhile the Spanish Civil War breaks out in 1936. Manolo is sent as a spy among the socialists. He learns to kill. He falls in love with Ildiko (Olga Kurylenko), a young Hungarian woman who has come to fight with the revolutionaries. She notices Manolo’s jealousy when she becomes attracted to their leader and is repulsed by his envy. Things come to a head when Ildiko becomes pregnant.

Click here to continue reading 

The Garden at the End of the World – film review

Click here for my review of the documentary film The Garden at the End of the World.

It is about establishing, or reestablishing “permaculture” in Afghanistan that has nothing left but hope.