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U.S. Bishops Pick the Top Ten Films for 2003

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 17, 2004

Whale Rider. A touching coming-of-age story set among contemporary New Zealand Maoris, which explores the role of community and change through the relationship of a determined 12-year-old girl and her tradition-bound grandfather.

Let me guess. After some preliminary sulking, the petulant 12-year-old relents and lets Grandpa teach her the rudiments of Latin syntax and a synopsis of high-medieval Scholasticism. She leaves the village and earns a doctorate in canon law summa cum laude from the Pontifical Lateran University. Her refractory girlfriends stay behind to smoke ganj and are killed by a tsunami while watching "Dirty Dancing" on DVD.

The USCCB assures us the top ten films are chosen "not only for their obvious artistic merit, but for the positive messages they impart and how they enlighten as well as entertain."

Am I close?

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  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jan. 18, 2004 12:47 AM ET USA

    Diogenes: Sad as it might sound, could it be possible that the title of the above-mentioned movie affected the thinking (or lack thereof) of the select group of bishops at the USCCB and their agenda-driven assistants who devise this list (laypersons who include a few unorthodox brothers and sisters who play for another team)....? i.e., When they read the words "whale" and "rider" in the title, could they have mistaken it for a Herman-Melville-related-title-story-line?

  • Posted by: - Jan. 17, 2004 8:44 PM ET USA

    The USCCB has a Top Ten List of Films...? They have nothing better to do...? I'm sure there's an evangelical precedent for it. Peter: "Say, Paul while you are in Corinth let me know what is playing at the Atheneum there, would you? I'll be checking the Coliseum here in Rome. We can maybe have a list of the best Greek and Roman productions for 95 A.D. Think John knows what's playing at the Patmos Odeon...?"

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jan. 17, 2004 1:39 PM ET USA

    I wonder if Mel Gibson's movie will make it into next year's Top Ten? Or will it be excluded because its too divisive, or not celebrating a kaleidoscope that is America, or too obviously Number One to choose?

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jan. 17, 2004 1:33 PM ET USA

    Oh oh. There's that word again. Enlightened.

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