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April 12, 2010

Movie Watching Advice From Flannery O'Connor

Sister Rose Pacatte has good counsel for film discernment -- courtesy of O'Connor

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My friend Sister Rose Pacatte, director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies, loves movies, and is a fine film critic for the National Catholic Reporter and other outlets.

In a recent interview with NCR, Sr. Rose gave what I thought was a great answer to a question about watching movies that are rich in meaning but also include potentially objectionable content:

"I think it is futile to approach films by content only, unless parents are checking for what may be appropriate or not for children of different ages," Sr. Rose said. "When we are adults, as Flannery O'Connor said so often in her letters and lectures, we do not need to be treated like 15-year-old girls. The problem, Flannery would say, is that in many 75-year-olds there lingers the mind of a 15-year-old girl."

She went on to cite The Hurt Locker, Avatar, Up, Up in the Air, Precious, The Cove, Food, Inc., District 9, The Blind Side, and Crazy Heart as films that "have depth and provide an ample 'space' for reflection and conversation from the perspective of human and Gospel values, and in particular Catholic social teaching beginning with human dignity. ... We experience films through the filters of our life experience, education, faith and family formation -- and no one sees the same thing in the same way."

Amen, sister.

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