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Seven Quick Takes: 7 Fun Movies for December

Here we are already – it feels like just days away from Christmas and yet there’s really 3 weeks left in the Advent season – our time of waiting. It’s very hard to distance ourselves from the crazy hustle and bustle that the rest of the world is engaged in! I always have this vision of  all the days between the first Advent Sunday and Christmas being filled with quiet prayerful time spent peacefully and joyfully with my family. In reality we still have busy school/work days, groceries to buy, bills to pay and just the ordinary hustle and bustle of every day life that is suddenly vying with the extra to do lists we all have to complete before Christmas Eve suddenly appears and evaporates before our eyes. 

To survive this and somehow snatch some of that dreamed of quiet peaceful time spent with our loved ones I believe we have to make a conscious decision to actually carve out that time.  In addition to lighting those Advent candles and engaging in some special prayers, we can decide to pick at least one evening each week of Advent to spend with just our family members. Maybe one night you can pack up some treats and take a drive to enjoy the neighborhood lights and another night spend some time singing or listening to some Advent or Christmas carols while enjoying a hot cup of cocoa together. Another very fun option is to pop a huge bowl of popcorn and pick a new, or an old favorite, movie to watch all together. (How many families today find themselves all watching a movie but on different screens and in different rooms?) In case the option of some family movie time is something that you might be interested in doing, I have picked some fun, lively and possibly not so well known movie options for you to peruse…. 
 
Louise at the Placa Xmas1) Eloise at Christmastime is about 6 yr old Eloise (Sofia Vassilieva) and is based off of the books about Eloise . The principal plotline is that of Eloise trying to reunite the hotel owners’ only daughter with former boyfriend Bill (who happens to be one of Eloise’s favorite hotel employes) before she marries another man (Brookes Oliver the third!!) whom she has brought back home to introduce to Dad. 
Eloise is a precocious little six year old who has most of the Plaza’s employees wrapped around her adorable little pinky.  Her “raaather British” nanny is played by Julie Andrews. But don’t be fooled by the inclusion of this actress who is so famous for her musical voice and have expectations of some wonderful musical pieces sung by Nanny. Sadly in 1997 a botched throat surgery cost Julie Andrews her incredible singing voice. Still there are a few little diddies in the movie that are enjoyable, they just aren’t performed by Nanny! This is a fun movie that has been enjoyed by all age groups in our family – though I no longer have toddlers and preschoolers in that audience anymore – for that I will have to borrow my sons’ or daughter’s children. 
(Note: there is one occasion when Eloise exclaims “for Lord’s sake”.)
 
 
 
Eloise_at_the_Plaza
 
2) Eloise at the Plaza staring many of the same cast of Eloise at Christmastime, is another fun and innocent movie. To read my full review of this movie just click here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3) Great RupertThe Great Rupert (or as it’s known now –  A Christmas Wish) stars the great Jimmy Durante! I found this movie on the one dollar rack  of DVDs in the grocery store way back in the day when I still had oodles of toddlers and preschoolers combined with elementary, middle school, high school and college kids to entertain all at once. Since the colleges kids were, well, in college – I can’t speak to their interest in this movie but everyone else enjoyed it. To read the full review that I wrote you can click here.
 
 
 
 
Christmas in C4) Christmas In Connecticut is an older movie released in 1945 staring Barbara Stanwyck along with other well known names of that era. (Apparently there is a 1992 tv remake of  this movie which I have not seen and thus cannot recommend! But I will be investigating this so look for a review on this at a later time.) How did I come across an old classic like this since I am of a much, much, later era than 1945? Well – you can click here and find out for yourself just how I did stumble across such an amusing and fun movie and read my review of it. 
 
 
fiddler5) Fiddler on the Roof: I’m not sure how this became a Christmas tradition for us but every year we watch part of, or all of this version of Fiddler on the Roof. It is an incredibly moving story of life within the Jewish community on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution and gives hints of the political tension of the time, as well as the societal changes that would eventually sweep the world in the following decades.  It is filled with lively, as well as beautiful emotionally moving musical pieces. One of our favorites is the Jewish prayer sung by the parents before the Sabbath dinner.  Holding a very close second is the song which our second oldest chose for her bride’s waltz with her father…. (Yes, I cried!)
Jenny and Daddy
 
There is some violence (not bloody but potentially scary for the younger fry) in this movie when the cossacks raid a community celebration and a very scary scene when  Tevye shares his “nightmare” with Golde, his wife. I first saw this movie as a child in the early seventies on the big screen and was terrified. It is not as scary on the small screen but keep in mind the individual sensitivities of your own littles. Ours have not been very scared cuddled on one of their parents laps or that of an older sibling but I would suggest viewing the movie first if you think your child might be frightened.  (You can click here to get a preview of the various pogrom scenes from the movie – if you have not seen this movie it is a bit of a spoiler if you pay close attention. Still, it might be a good idea to view them before watching the movies with your children so as to prepare for a lot of historical questions.) 
Now if the links to two of my favorite musical pieces have not yet convinced you to include this in your holiday viewing let me share this clip (Tevye celebrating his daughter’s engagement to the butcher) and this clip with you and perhaps you will then find yourself convinced to give it a try. (This movie is 3 hours long so you might want to plan on splitting it over two nights and make sure your bowl of popcorn is especially deep!)
 
Christmas-Angel6) Christmas Angel is a sweet story about a little girl, Olivia, who helps children’s wishes come true though the mysterious assistance of what she thinks is an angel hidden in the decrypt house next to Olivia’s home. As Olivia becomes convinced that an angel must be granting her wishes for other children, her mother has a lovely conversation with her about what  angels really are (messengers of God) and that they are not genies who magically grant wishes.  Olivia’s Christmas wish is for her mother to find a husband whom she can love and share her life with and not just be only taking care of her. It’s never explained where Olivia’s father is – we just know that he is not in the picture. A sweet, feel good movie with a happy ending that focuses more on the Spirit of Christmas as God and not Santa… 
This movie is currently available on Netflix under their Holiday selection – or just search by its title. I’m sorry but I don’t know if companies such as Amazon or Hulu are offering this for viewing or not. Amazon does sell it, but it is currently out of stock. 
 
Switchmas7) Switchmas – a cute story of two young boys very discontent about where they are being sent to spend the holidays. Ira J. Finkelstein is a  young Jewish boy who has always desired to celebrate Christmas complete with a tree and snow. His parents are involved in the movie industry and hollywood scene. Clearly there is no snow in Ira’s future though he’s hoping to finally experience the magic of a winter wonderland as his parents have promised him a skiing vacation up north. These plans are thrown out the window when the Dad lands an opportunity to film with a big celebrity that could really open doors for him. Ira soon finds himself on the plane heading for Florida to meet his very Jewish grandparents and even more sunshine. In the Chicago airport he bumps into another child who looks rather similar to himself but is a little Christian boy heading for the state of Washington aka winter wonderland. Ira suddenly hatches the plot of the two of them exchanging tickets since the relatives at either end of their flights have not seen these two boys in ages. And as the saying goes, the rest is history!
Though Ira is searching for the fairy land picture of Christmas he ends up learning more about faith, love for family and what it means to face one’s fears. And our kids get to see a movie that is not selling us the idea that the reason of the season is the jolly old elf from the North pole.  This movie is available for viewing on Netflix and is also for sale on Amazon.
(Note: there are a couple of incidents of bullying taking place that end up being resolved in a positive manner.)
 
It’s hard to believe but I wont “see” you again until next year , so though it’s still Advent I will close this month’s Seven Quick Takes by wishing you a very peaceful Advent and a blessed Merry Christmas. Don’t forget to head over to This Ain’t the Lyceum and I’ll see you next year with Catholic Sista’s first  7QT of 2016! (Please feel free to suggest some future themes you might be interested in reading here in our Seven Quick Takes.)
 
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Eucharist: A Journey of Transformation, Healing, and Discipleship

Eucharist A Journey of Transformation, Healing, and DiscipleshipShortly before the holidays, we were contacted by Dr. Mary Amore from Mayslake Ministries. She had a DVD she thought we might like to review. Upon finding out the DVD was on the Eucharist, I jumped at the chance to review it. Before I knew it, the video arrived at my house. Eager to view it, I set it on my dresser so that I could watch it later that day. But, as many days go, time got away from me, motherhood called, and I wasn’t able to watch the video. With the holidays closing in on me, I put the video aside for a time when I could devote my full attention to its contents. I’m so glad I did!

Eucharist: A Journey of Transformation, Healing, and Discipleship claims to “forever change your experience of the Eucharist”. I dare say they are right! With beautiful imagery, intimate conversation, and history lessons that are easy to understand, Dr. Amore brings the importance and beauty of the Eucharist to the forefront and she challenges us to allow the Eucharist to forever change not only our lives, but also the very essence of who we are.

Divided up into three 20 minute segments, the videos are the perfect length for those of us who are so busy that we struggle to set aside extra time and yet we wish to continue learning about our faith. Because the videos are only 20 minutes in length, you can watch and re-watch to absorb all the details Dr. Amore presents. Using the questions presented for each of the segments, journaling is sure to enhance the spiritual gains you will receive by watching the videos. Of course, this is not a necessity, simply an added benefit. If you are using the videos within a group setting, the short length provides ample time for discussion afterward.

The DVD includes thought provoking questions for each segment of the video. Additionally, there is a printable user guide that encourages and helps small group leaders facilitate discussions and lead guided mediations and prayer rituals. I found this to be a tremendous asset as I contemplate forming a small group to view the videos, discuss our thoughts, and watch our lives be transformed by the power of the Holy Eucharist.

As we approach Lent we often look for ways to transform our lives. Many of us take this time to sacrifice, to contemplate, and to dive deeper into our prayer lives. If you are looking for a way to understand Christ’s gift of the Eucharist, instituted at the Last Supper, I highly recommend this video. It is the perfect way to come to understand how the Eucharist is the source and summit of our beautiful Catholic faith.

the last supper

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Catholic Children’s Movies – a Review of CCC and a Fantastic Giveaway!

CCCKIDS-DEC-CATHOLICSISTAS (1)

CCCKids Saints campaign from Tuesday 12/02-Friday 12/05: 3 movie giveawaysWatch the spirit of giving and the magic of Christmas sparkle in your children’s eyes as they watch CCC of America’s award-winning animated films. This month we are featuring three saints with feast days in December.

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We absolutely love the CCC saints and heroes movies in our house; they are truly great aids to our children’s faith formation! They make the saints approachable for our children as we fall in love with the characters in the story. Several of the saints depicted in the movies have feast days this month, and we were glad to sit and watch them as a family as a way of learning about each saint. In honor of the CCCKids Campaign this week, they graciously sent us three saint movies to watch and review.

{We couldn’t pick a favorite movie at first, but eventually my boys settled on St. Nicholas (although probably because we have been talking a lot about his upcoming feast day, as they dream about the candy that will show up in their shoes!) Each of the movies is truly a treasure, and they would make wonderful Christmas gifts for children or godchildren.}

Francis Xavier and the Samurai’s Lost Treasure (feast day: December 3)

francisThe story begins with St. Francis as a university student, and depicts the friendship between St. Francis and St. Ignatius of Loyola; Francis learns about sacrifice from his friend, Ignatius, who secretly works to earn money to pay Francis’s tuition. Francis, inspired by his friend’s example, soon devotes his life to Christ, becomes a priest, and is sent to a village in India as a missionary. The villagers are pearl divers, and are required to fill a chest with pearls in order to pay their tax to the government; however, raiders continually descend upon their village to steal their chests of pearls. With Francis’ help, they are able to outsmart the raiders and save the village. Francis wins their friendship and the villagers ask to be baptized.

While in India, Francis also meets a displaced samurai in the village who is searching for a special black pearl to take back to the Emperor in his home country of Japan. When the samurai finds his pearl and returns to Japan, Francis decides to go with him to bring the Gospel to the Japanese. First, he must approach the Emperor to ask permission to preach. The pearl is stolen from the samurai, and is accidentally dropped in the Emperor’s crocodile pool. Francis not only saves the pearl, but also wins the samurai’s heart for Christ. His compassion on the pearl thieves also touches the Emperor’s heart, who allows the Good News of Jesus to be preached throughout Japan. Francis is an example of heroism and of the importance of preaching the Gospel despite impossible circumstances.

Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa (feast day: December 6)

nicholasNicholas is the son of a wealthy Christian man; even as a child, his generosity shines through. He trades his brand new horse in order to purchase a slave child, Adrian, about his own age, simply to set him free. When his parents die, he gives nearly all of his wealth to the church, and uses the rest to bless his neighbors. Nicholas’s love of Jesus causes the bishop to appoint him as his successor. He is well-loved by the people of his town, and many convert because of his example.

Soon, Emperor Diocletian issues a proclamation for the persecution of Christians. Nicholas’s cathedral is burned, and he is imprisoned for many years. When Constantine becomes Emperor, Nicholas is released, but he is told that Christianity has been all but wiped out. What a wonderful surprise when he walks into the newly rebuilt cathedral for Midnight Mass on Christmas and sees a full congregation, as well as his friend Adrian, now a priest, celebrating Mass!

The movie ends by explaining how Nicholas, the generous gift giver, was emulated through the centuries by other Christians, and how his memory lives on as he has been assimilated into different cultures. In American culture, the man we know as Santa Claus is actually our interpretation of St. Nicholas. “Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa” really does a wonderful job of tying in Santa with the good Saint, so as not to cause confusion among children. (In our house, we celebrate St. Nicholas Day and while we don’t really “do” Santa, our kids know that Santa is actually a representation of St. Nicholas, thanks to the explanation in the movie.)

Juan Diego: Messenger of Guadalupe (feast day: December 9; feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe: December 12)

juandiegoThis movie is a beautiful depiction of the love the Blessed Mother has for each one of us. Juan is a poor Indian convert who is struggling to reconcile his former Aztec beliefs with his new belief in Catholicism. He becomes discouraged as he is asked not to teach the children anymore because some of his ideas about religion are confused. Mary appears to Juan at the Hill of Tepeyac, reassuring him of her love for him, calling him “my littlest son.” After several days of appearing to him, she gives him roses to take to the Bishop so that he will believe the apparitions, and to convince him to build a church on the hill. Juan hurries to the Bishop’s house, and shows him the roses, which do not normally grow in Mexico in December. As the roses spill from his tilma, the image of Our Lady appears imprinted on the fabric – the image that we know as Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Bishop then believes Juan and has a church built there in honor of Mary.

This story not only illustrates Mary’s love for her spiritual children, but also has many humorous parts intertwined; a salesman is constantly trying to sell Juan a new tilma, but Juan insists that he prefers his old one. Of course, when Mary’s image appears, Juan must get a new one, and the salesman ends up giving one to Juan for free. The movie is truly delightful!

I really cannot recommend these movies enough; they are innocent, wholesome, educational, and entertaining. My only wish is that CCC produces more movies with new saints, and soon! I can give some suggestions as to what I’d love to see – St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Catherine of Siena, St. John Bosco… 😉

(I received 3 complimentary movies from CCC to review; all opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated for this review.)

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Giveaway:

Rejoice this Advent season with these beautifully animated stories learning charity from the real Saint Nick, discovering the courage of Juan Diego, and experience the importance of missionary work like Saint Francis Xavier. CCC of America will send the winners the DVDs along with other sweet treats!
[CCC PRODUCTIONS ARE 30 MIN AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH, SPANISH AND FRENCH)

Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway ends Friday, December 5, at midnight EST. US residents only.

 

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REVIEW: When the Game Stands Tall

onesheet

The New England Patriots hold the NFL record with 21 consecutive victories.

The Oklahoma Sooners set the standard for NCAA Division I football teams with 47 straight wins.

Then there’s the De La Salle Spartans and their incredible 151-game winning streak.

For 12 consecutive seasons, the De La Salle High School football team has known only

the thrill of victories and the consistency of championships.

In a world super-saturated and obsessed with winning, it’s no surprise that secular critics are eating this movie up in the review world. They want only bone-crushing football scenes and to write off the stories of the players as unimportant. Perhaps if they were looking for something a bit…deeper, a bit more introspective, their reviews would have been more “on target.”

I went to see this movie in June with my husband on the heels of the San Antonio Spurs winning against the Heat in the NBA Finals. Add to that, we live in Texas where football – especially high school football – reigns supreme. {As an aside, Friday Night Lights was filmed just down the literal road from where I live!}. I easily admit I am partial to high school football – my own high school team played against Phil Dawson in Texas Stadium my junior year of high school. I won’t mention whether his 50+ yard field goal won the game for his team. I just won’t.

When the Game Stands Tall opens nationwide August 22 and is based on a true story. The backdrop is set against high school De La Salle high school’s 10-year winning streak of 151 games that started back in the nineties {when this gal was still in high school}. While it is billed as a family movie, it easily falls into other categories, such as drama, faith-based, and sports.

Alexander Ludwig;Jim Caviezel;Matthew Daddario;Jessie T Usher

Caviezel, who plays Bob Ladouceur, De La Salle’s football coach, is at a crossroads of sorts with his team, with his life, with his career. When he arrived at De La Salle in 1979, the school had never had a winning season. Yes, his team is winning, but he never pushed for the wins. As the story unfolds, the flashbacks set the stage for the type of environment Coach Ladouceur always fostered among his players – one that would ultimately carry them past football. The lessons that prepare you for life but carry with it the elements that make for a cohesive team. We see the team come together to share their strengths and weaknesses, their accountability to themselves, their teammates, their coach, and to the game itself. When the team experiences a variety of tragedies, they find they are more in need than ever to return to the core values of the team – sacrifice, commitment, and teamwork.

Jim Caviezel;Alexander Ludwig;Michael Chiklis;Matthew Daddario;Jessie T Usher

What I loved most about this movie was, even though yes it is about a football team and yes a great deal of the scenes have to do with football, is the message doesn’t revolve around football, but rather the core values that Ladouceur instilled in his players and in his coaching philosophy. Dare I say it, but there are many women {and maybe some men, too?} who don’t keep up with football and will still be able to enjoy and appreciate the movie. So, grab some of your favorite people and take them to see When the Game Stands Tall. It’s a movie that stands tall in many ways.

QUOTABLES

“It has been a long time since I have enjoyed a movie so much. WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL has a message far deeper than winning and losing football games. This true story reveals what it really means to succeed beyond a win/loss record. As a mother of ten children who have all been involved in sports, I found this movie to be both gripping and uplifting.” 
Patti Maguire Armstrong, Catholic author 

“When I saw WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL, I thought of a great outline of what high school athletics should be. It shouldn’t be about the statistics, it shouldn’t be about the touchdowns—it should be about the team and the effort that a team puts forth together.”
Amani Toomer, Super Bowl champion and former De La Salle receiver

“This movie confirms why I wanted to be a football coach! The most compelling thing I got from WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL was the lasting impact a coach can have with his players! Coach Ladouceur might be the perfect model for this goal! He always demanded commitment and integrity and then the wins will come. Not sure there is a better role model for young athletes or aspiring coaches than this man! Absolutely awesome story! This is what our country and young people need as examples!”
Scott Linehan, Passing Game Coordinator, Dallas Cowboys

“I would recommend the movie WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL to anyone, whether they follow sports or not. Good character is in short supply these days, and this film shows a compelling picture of what attractive character looks like when the pressure is on.”
Mark Householder, President, Athletes in Action

“WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL is an inspiring movie with the ironic message that the most important lesson to be learned from 151 straight victories is that there is so much more than winning at all costs! The marvelous story of Coach Bob Ladouceur and the De La Salle High School football team is a must-see for players and coaches of all sports.” 
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, Diocese of Springfield, Illinois
Author of Holy Goals for Body and Soul: Eight Steps to Connect Sports with God and Faith; Chairman, Episcopal Advisory Board, Catholic Athletes for Christ
 

“Inspiring, moving and motivating! When the Game Stands Tall is a gut-check for the soul, forcing us to ask ourselves whether we are merely breathing or truly living. When the Game Stands Tall strikes a chord of the heart with a note that resounds and carries. Finally, a ‘sports’ film even my wife will love. I can’t wait to share this movie with my family—it’s a feel-good story for the ages, reminding us of all that is right in sports … and, more importantly, in the human spirit. ” 
Mark Hart, Executive Vice President, Life Teen International 

“WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL offers something for everyone. Like Hoosiers and Remember The Titans, this is a great sports movie and much more. In life’s great moments, and even in the midst of some of its most challenging, we see how a group of committed people, with a great goal, can work together to become more than they could have ever dreamed. This is true in sports and it is true in life. Go see this film, and bring your friends and your family.” 
Curtis Martin, CEO & Founder of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) 

“This movie has the most realistic in-game football scenes yet, and the adaptation sticks to the real-life script. It’s an authentic look at sports’ most impressive streak. It’s also the perfect way to start football season.” 
Bill Bender, Sporting News college football writer

“WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL is far more than a football movie—it’s a playbook for life. Inspirational, gripping and vastly entertaining, this film will leave you motivated to give your best for all the right reasons. See it with your entire family and leave ready to make our world a better place.” Lisa Hendey, Founder of CatholicMom.com and author of The Grace of Yes

TRAILER

INTERVIEW WITH COACH LADOUCEUR

INTERVIEW WITH JIM CAVIEZEL

TONY DUNGEE’S THOUGHTS ON THE MOVIE

‘When the Game Stands Tall’
Reviewed in Austin, TX, June 10, 2014. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 114 MIN.

Production
A Sony Pictures Entertainment release of a TriStar Pictures presentation in association with Affirm Films of a Mandalay Sports Media production. Produced by David Zelon. Executive producers, Cathy Schulman, David Tice, Thomas Carter. Co-producers, Neil Hayes, Adam Stone.

Crew
Directed by Thomas Carter. Screenplay, Scott Marshall Smith; story, Smith, David Zelon, based on the book by Neil Hayes. Camera (color), Michael Lohmann; editor, Scott Richter; music, John Paesano; music supervisors, Dave Jordan, Jo Jo Villanueva; production designer, Jaymes Hinkle; art director, Raymond Pumilia; set decorator, Kristen Bicksler; costume designer, Claire Breaux; sound (Dolby Digital/DTS/SDDS), Dan Izen; supervising sound editor, Steven Ticknor; re-recording mixers, Chris Carpenter, Jeff J. Haboush; visual effects supervisor/producer, Raymond McInture Jr.; visual effects, Pixel Magic; line producer, Kenneth Burke; associate producer, Nathon S. Lewis; assistant director, Mark Anthony Little; second unit director/stunt coordinator, Allan Graf; second unit camera, Shawn Maurer; casting, Victoria Thomas.

Cast
Jim Caviezel, Michael Chiklis, Alexander Ludwig, Clancy Brown, Lura Dern, Matthew Daddario, Joe Massingill, Jessie T. Usher, Richard Kohnke, Ser’Darius Blain, Stephan James.

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The Revolution of John XXIII: The Second Vatican Council (Review)

Have you ever wanted to know more about the Second Vatican Council but didn’t feel you had the time to read up on all the documents?

Have you ever wondered why the Church held the Second Vatican Council?

Are you interested in learning more about one of our most recent canonized saints?

DVD John XXIII and IIVCIf you answered yes to any of the above, then I have the documentary for you! At just under an hour long, The Revolution of Pope John XXIII: The Second Vatican Council is a great overview of both the Council and Pope St. John XXIII.

This film consists of original footage interspersed with interviews with several cardinals, a journalist, and a historian. I especially loved hearing the first hand accounts from some of those interviewed who witnessed the Council themselves. This documentary had an overall positive outlook on the Second Vatican Council but did not overlook the challenges of implementing the new norms and some of the failures that resulted.

There is a lot of information packed into this 55 minute film and I learned a lot while watching it. I had no idea how long it took just to prepare for the start of the Council (3 years!), how many people attended (roughly 4,000),and the number of topics originally slated to be discussed was also overwhelming (70 to be exact) with no clear theme or connection between many of the topics. And this librarian’s heart was warmed at seeing the walls of card catalogs and rows of book stacks where the more than 2800 topic proposals were organized and analyzed (it took two years just to do that!).

I enjoy learning about history and this film appealed to my interest in viewing historical events in the context of larger world events. I was pleased that this documentary did just that addressing the influence of World War II, the increasing secularization of the world at the time, the growth of Communism and rejection of religion, and then looking at how the world changed following the Council and how the Church has been equipped to deal with the ever growing secular world.

I really liked the positive vibe I got from this documentary. It did address the problems and challenges, but the overall tone was optimistic and this made for an excellent account of the Council and it’s influence on the modern Church. As a lay person, and one who grew up knowing only the Novus Ordo Mass, it became even more clear to me just how important the lay person is to the Church, all a result of the Second Vatican Council. That was my biggest takeaway from this documentary.

I definitely learned a lot, more than I expected actually. The film met my expectations and actually exceeded them in many ways. I feel like I have a clearer picture of the man that Pope John XXIII was (the second time I watched the film, I started thinking of him as a lovable grandfather) and a good overall understanding of the Second Vatican Council. This film would make a great intro to the Council for any group study on the Second Vatican Council documents or an academic class on the Council and its documents. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more, especially if you enjoy history.

The film can be purchased through Ignatius Press.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this DVD from Ignatius Press in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for this review.