The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Books, Movies, Videos

Faith, the Yes of the Heart (Augsburg) by Grace Adolphsen Brame proclaims that trust in God is the foundation of a life lived under the auspices of the Spirit. Brame, who is a Lutheran retreat leader and teacher, spells out the role of the heart in private and public matters. She also explains the deep connections between faith, love and sanctification.

The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World's Religions (New World Library) by Wayne Teasdale states that interspirituality, "the sharing of ultimate experiences across traditions," will be the trend of the future. Some of the emphases of this way of contemplation and social action are deep nonviolence, humility, simplicity of life, compassionate service, solidarity with all living beings and prophetic voice. This blueprint for a global mysticism that cuts across all religious traditions is salutary.

The Hurricane (Universal, R--language and some violence) tells the inspiring true story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, an African American boxer who spent 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The lifeline of hope that eventually sets him free is composed of many little acts of kindness, love and hard investigative work by an African-American teenager and his white Canadian friends. In one of the most touching scenes in the film, Carter tells Lesra (whose name means Lazarus), "Hate put me in prison, love is gonna bust me out."

Stuart Little (Sony Pictures, PG) is a wonderful screen interpretation of E.B. White's classic 1945 children's tale. Mr. and Mrs. Little visit a New York adoption agency and find a special brother for their young son George. All children, at one time or another, feel they are not only smaller than adults, they might just be another species. This fanciful tale about a tiny mouse in a big house is a delight from start to finish.

Buena Vista Social Club (Artisan, G) is a relaxing and entertaining documentary directed by Wim Wenders. The legendary guitarist Ry Cooder brings together Cuban musicians in Havana to record a solo album featuring vocalist Ibrahim Ferrer whom Cooder has lionized as "the Cuban Nat King Cole." Most of the musicians here are elders, including a 90-year-old guitarist.

Marius and Jeannette (New Yorker, not rated) is a French film set in a poor neighborhood. The drama revolves around the love affair between two middle-agers and a circle of friends who help pull them through hard times. Although these working-class people have all been worn down, they still have enough resiliency to support each other.


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October issue

OCTOBER issue:

Women and the Reformation: Then & Now