The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


October 1999 Books/Movies/TV/Videos

Holy Clues: Investigating Life's Mysteries with Sherlock Holmes (Pantheon) by Stephen Kendrick presents the world's most famous sleuth as not only a bloodhound of justice but a Zen master of attention. Holmes values small details and is a proponent of what Jesus called the mustard seed vision ("To a great mind, nothing is little"). Holy Clues is a marvelous primer on the Spirit's many mysteries. After you close this book, you'll be challenged to see God's handiwork in the constant parade of people, places and things in your everyday life.

The Force of Character and the Lasting Life (Random House) by James Hillman successfully fulfills his daring mission to "decouple death from aging and instead restore the ancient link between older age and the uniqueness of character." The author of the best-selling The Soul's Code celebrates long-lasting life as a chance to review the years, to make amends, to transform memories into stories, to connect with ancestors, to mentor the young, to speak against injustice and to heal the planet. Let Hillman change your ideas about long life — you'll see it afresh as a laboratory for refining character.

West Beirut (Cowboy, not rated) is a fresh, funny and emotionally vibrant coming-of-age drama set in the Lebanese city torn apart by war in 1975. Writer and director Ziad Doueiri plops us smack dab in the middle of the lives of a Muslim adolescent and his family and friends. In this cross-cultural gem, we are touched by the characters' humanity as they struggle to keep their souls alive in the midst of a senseless war.

Forget Me Never (CBS, Oct. 3, 9-11 p.m. ET) features Mia Farrow and Martin Sheen in a remarkable story, inspired by actual events, about a woman diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. The drama focuses on how she and her husband must come to terms with this life-altering situation.

Jane Goodall: Reason for Hope (PBS, Oct. 27, 8-9 p.m. ET) presents a rounded and revealing portrait of this acclaimed scientist and conservationist. Among the topics she discusses are the origins of good and evil, moral evolution and the existence of God.

God Said, "Ha!" (Miramax, PG-13 — thematic elements, some drug references) is a one-woman show by the gifted comedian Julia Sweeney of Saturday Night Live fame. She reveals what happened to her when she went to live in a Hollywood bungalow after a divorce. Her brother, suffering from terminal cancer, moved in, and her parents came to help. Sweeney proves humor is a lifesaver amid pain and suffering. This video presents in an emotionally affecting way this comedian's vulnerability and courage.


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October issue

OCTOBER issue:

Women and the Reformation: Then & Now