The series opens Thursday at 8 p.m. with “The Story of Temple Drake” (1933), an adaptation of a William Faulkner novel about a woman (Miriam Hopkins) who’s raped by a gangster and becomes his moll. So notorious was this pre-code film that it wasn’t even shown on TV until a couple of years ago.
It drew one of the Legion’s first “condemned” ratings, but Sister Rose says, “I actually like the film. It’s 83 years old and you can still watch it because of the writing, acting and brooding cinematography. The Catholic Legion of Decency didn’t trust that Catholic audiences would figure out that the woman didn’t want to be a prostitute and that she’s shown as a victim, even though this predicament is as old as the Bible.”
As an upcoming movie starring actress and director Melissa Joan Hart as a Christian teacher who is forced before a judge for answering a question about Jesus in the classroom, “God’s Not Dead 2: He’s Surely Alive” tackles several ethical and freedom of religion dilemmas facing society today. In the movie, the principal and superintendent join forces with a zealous civil liberties group, and the teacher faces an epic court case that could cost her a career she loves and expel God from the classroom.
Film director and producer Josh Troester is asking why YouTube removed his short movie about the persecution of Christians. According to the filmmaker, YouTube took down his work because it is inappropriate and violates the site’s policies.
Troester’s film, titled “Chased,” is a 30-minute movie that centers on a Christian family. Since the protagonists live in fictional American community where their religion is illegal, they are forced to practice their beliefs in secret. According to the director, his intention with the film is to teach the audience about religious persecution, Christian Today reported.
The team discovers that child abuse at the hands of God’s self-appointed disciples is no secret. In fact, it is widely known among Boston’s politicians, prosecutors, and other powerful parishioners who knew or suspected the prevalence of sexual crimes committed by priests against children but chose not to speak out. Their fear of spiritual and social excommunication allowed the abuse to fester. It takes a village to raise a child, observes Mitchell Garabedian, an irascible lawyer skillfully played by Stanley Tucci, who represents many of Boston’s child victims. And it takes the silence of a village to perpetuate such abuse.
The film bravely acknowledges that the Globe itself was among those powerful institutions that did all too little for far too long. The Globe, having been purchased by the New York Times in 1993, beset by layoffs and declining subscribers and revenue, was focused on other news before it finally confronted the horrifying truth that it had declined to pursue for decades, while the number of shattered lives mounted.
Kristine Stolakis is a San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker who wants to make the world a better place. In a culture saturated with irony, Stolakis is a refreshing wellspring of sincerity; there is nothing cynical about her work. Before embarking on a graduate degree in documentary film at Stanford, she studied cultural anthropology at NYU and worked as a teaching artist and program manager for youth in underserved communities….
Her latest, Where We Stand, is the story of a controversial group of Mormon feminists fighting for women’s ordination in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The documentary follows Abby Hansen, a stay-at-home mom turned vocal advocate for Ordain Women, as she navigates the repercussions of her unpopular activism against her church in her predominantly Mormon suburb. Stolakis is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise completion and distribution funds. The full film will premiere in film festivals this winter.
A social satire,”Global Baba’ shows the treacherous ways in which con men, under the guise of religious gurus, win the blind faith of people. Directed by Manoj Tewari, it tells the story of Chillam Pehelwan (Abhimanyu Singh), a seasoned criminal who takes refuge in the world of religion, after losing protection of his political bosses.
Within no time, he becomes ‘Global Baba’ and attracts a huge following of devotees. The rational-minded minority of his opponents get a chance to contain him only when he plans to enter politics. How a handful of people stage a charade to expose his true face forms a thrilling climax. Sanjay Mishra (Bhola Pandit), Sandeepa Dhar, (a forthright TV reporter), Pankaj Tripathi (Damru, Global Baba’s right hand), Ravi Kishan (Jacob, a cop) and Akhilendra Mishra (Dallu Yadav, a politician) play pivotal roles in the film.
Tonight’s winners at the 88th annual Academy Awards included a couple of films that exposed the worst practices within certain religious communities. Spotlight, the film about Boston Globe reporters who uncovered the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, took home awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay….
Evil lurks in the shadows throughout the film, with mention of “Satan” trying to sabotage the family’s farm. Classic symbolism gives “The Witch” a fairytale feel with a twist, like something from the Brothers Grimm. Think less Snow White, more creepy Norwegian folk tales.
The film’s eerie religious tones are enough to get your skin crawling, but that’s not all. Animal symbolism like a spooky black goat and a crazy-eyed rabbit turn up whenever something formidable takes place. The bleak, decrepit setting near a dark forest and the score that gets your stomach lurching, make “The Witch” one of the greatest horror films 2016 will give us.
Discussion with Bill Jersey, the director of the film, and Judith Weisenfeld, Princeton University Moderated by Briallen Hopper, Yale University
Presented with Films at the Whitney, the program in American Studies, the department of African American studies, the department of religious studies, the Film Studies Program, and the Center for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion