Sunday, October 03, 2004

Therese and Ground Zero

Therese was no The Passion of The Christ. The movie makers wanted to capitalize on the appeal of The Passion and its "grassroots" way of marketing. They were smart to do this, but first they should have made sure to make a excellent film like The Passion. The music was nice, some of the scenes were beautifully shot, and some of the acting was good. People afterwards mentioned they would have liked to have seen her visions in the film. My girlfriend, who has a special devotion to St. Therese had this reaction: If she did not already know alot about St. Therese and had not read books on her, then she would have left this film wondering why she was a saint. I added that you wouldn't have a clue why she was a doctor of the Church either. I was glad to see a decent crowd in the theater in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, and I wished the story had been a little better. Highlights would be the scene of Therese escorting an elderly nun down a hallway while listening to music in her head, the nuns putting together the Joan of Arc play, and the finale of the film which left some people moved. Overall, not bad but I wish the filmakers would follow the advice offered on the blog Church of The Masses: Make good films that would appeal to everyone! When I was leaving the movie theater I couldn't help but think: Catholics have the greatest and the most number of stories to tell. We could be pumping out dozens of great movies just on the Saints alone. We need to be able to tell our stories on film in a way that will appeal to anyone who likes a good story. Therese was a start, but only that.

After the film we stood in the lobby wondering whether to eat first or go to Ground Zero. We were by a giant window on the fourth floor when I noticed to our right was Ground Zero. We did not realize it, but the movie theatre was in the Embassy Suites building that had been damaged on September 11th and reopened in the middle of 2002. Since it was closer than we thought we walked over the pedastrian bridge and to one of the viewing areas. It is not as big as you might imagine. People were taking pictures like tourists and that made us feel a little uneasy. So did the tables with merchandise picturing the twin towers, etc.. I expected it to be like a giant memorial or something, but it is actually just a construction site. Just a big hole with trailers, dirt, and some steel and concrete. The giant ramp that descends into the pit is what I recognized first. There is an information booth with pamphlets and drawings of the future of the site which people were studying with interest. I don't find anything particulary good or interesting about the future site design. On the fence are pictures of the history of the twin towers and the attacks of September 11th. There is also the names of everyone who died at Ground Zero that day. The Cross at Ground Zero looked small but was the only thing that made me feel like this was a place of tragedy. The buildings around Ground Zero bore testimony to the day in a more real way. One giant building, probably 40 stories high, was completely covered in black netting. ( I just looked it up on the internet and this was the Bankers Trust building and was exactly 40 stories high- I found information on the area buildings by going into the Ground Zero Interactive Map at this site.) I just hope that when they rebuild the site, they will make sure to create a place where people can come to cry, to remember and to pray.

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