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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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July 1998 Books/Movies/TV/Videos

B O O K S
God in Between (Jewish Lights) by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is a multicultural, nondenominational and nonsectarian children's book recommended for ages 4 and up. It uses the ancient spiritual theme of individuals who take a long journey to find God and then return home to discover the Holy One was there all along.

Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life (New World Library) by Kent Nerburn is an uplifting collection of essays about the beauty, the grandeur and the meaning in ordinary experiences. Whether walking through the woods with his son, cherishing a meal or pondering the significance of echoes, Nerburn keeps a reverent eye on the small details of life.

M O V I E S
The Truman Show (Paramount, PG), directed by Peter Weir, offers a thought-provoking portrait of the power of the media and the creeping encroachments on privacy in the modern age. Since his birth, Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) has been on television; hidden cameras follow his every move on the island paradise he calls home, which is actually a giant domed TV set with a fake moon and sun. Only problem is, Truman does not know that he is not living in the "real" world. When he figures out what's up, he has one chance to exercise his free will.

T V
A Signature: Barbara Kingsolver (PBS, July 20, 10-11 p.m. EDT) is a profile of the best-selling essayist, short-story writer and novelist (Animal Dreams). She talks about her interests in social struggles and the quest for justice.

V I D E O S
Ponette (Fox Lorber, not rated), one of the most spiritually literate films of 1997, is a masterful study of a child's management of grief. Four-year-old Ponette's mother has been killed in an accident. Her father, relatives and other children all offer explanations they think will help her understand her loss. But Ponette remains convinced that she can see her mother again. This story is a tribute to a child's resiliency and a reminder to all of us to watch what we say around children because so many things have significance to them.

Not in This Town (Universal, PG-13--depiction of a hate crime) revolves around the civic activism of a Lutheran woman with two children married to a Jewish physician in Billings, Mont. Angered by the hate literature she finds on her car after worship in the synagogue, this courageous citizen rallied the community against the white supremacists in town who want to eliminate all diversity.


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