St. Anthony Messenger

November 2013

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CNS/FOCUS FEATURES Eric Bana and Ciarán Hinds are in over their heads in director John Crowley's thriller Closed Circuit. (Ciarán Hinds)—and they know a lot more than more than they are saying. Closed Circuit is well acted by a capable cast, and well directed by John Crowley. But the film abruptly stops, leaving audiences to wonder if they've just seen an enhanced version of the BBC's spook show MI-5 or if the filmmakers decided to just let the credits roll. A-3, R ■ Language and violence. owned by Jews were then divided up among the villagers, including Franciszek and Józef's father. As the two brothers unravel the mystery of what happened, they face their own prejudices, guilt, and grief—as individuals and, in a way, standing in for their father and a nation. Aftermath, which seems to be based on the 2001 book Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community of Jedwabne, Poland, caused much controversy when it was released. In fact, theaters in Poland would not play it, though it won an award at Poland's prestigious Gdynia Film Festival. While it is true that many Catholic-Polish people aided the Jews during World War II, not all were blameless. Aftermath is a timely film because of reemerging anti-Semitism and racial prejudice in Poland and throughout Europe that calls out for awareness and for justice wherever it exists. The film is in Polish with English subtitles. Not yet rated ■ Mature themes and peril. Aftermath Fr anciscanMedia.org CNS PHOTO/SONY PICTURES CLASSIC It is almost the year 2000. Franciszek (Ireneusz Czop) returns to Poland after 20 years of living in Chicago. He makes his way to a small village and the family farm run by his younger brother, Józef (Maciej Stuhr). Franciszek did not come home when his parents died, but when Józef's wife and children showed up at his door in Chicago, he has come home to find out what is going on. The village has turned against Józef because he has been doing strange things such as digging up large stones from the roads around the village and around the bell tower of the local Catholic church. The younger priest sides with the townspeople who are ready to commit violence against Józef for his behavior. But the older priest, who is on the verge of retirement, supports Józef. The stones in question are headstones taken from a Jewish cemetery that no longer exists. Everything in the story goes back to World War II when the Catholics in the village turned against the Jews after a visit from the Gestapo, herding them into a farmhouse and setting it on fire. The farms In the controversial Polish drama Aftermath, Ireneusz Czop plays a man forced to confront his family's past. Catholic Cl assifications A-1 A-2 A-3 L O General patronage Adults and adolescents Adults Limited adult audience Morally offensive ■ The Catholic News Service Media Review Office gives these ratings. See usccb.org/movies. ■ Find reviews by Sister Rose and others at CatholicMovieReviews.org. November 2013 ❘ 9

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