EWTN Global Catholic Network The Life of Charles Foucauld (color; 90 minutes; Maran Films: Stuttgart) If your expectations are low you may get something from this video. Unfortunately for most of us in "the family" our hopes are high and our esteem for Brother Charles so extraordinary that we will be disappointed by this production. It was first produced in Germany in 1986 as "Der Tod des Wieden Marabut", and then an English version produced by Mother Angelica's firm changing the title from "death of" to "life of". For some reason it drops the "de" that we expect in front of Brother Charles' name which catches us off guard. The dubbing is very awkward with mouths moving and no sound, or dialog still flowing when visually no one is speaking. It does not make for a very convincing work. The approach in this video is dramatization using a flash-back technique (similiar to Antier's book) being centered on Brother Charles' capture by the Senoussis on December 1, 1916. Consequently the German title makes sense, the English title does not. Dramatically it fails to connect with the viewer because the dramatic flow is choppy. To its credit it does offer insights into the special relationship that Charles had with his cousin, Marie deBondy. Charles in his military career does not appear at all chubby, and the dramatic exploration of Morocco is condensed to several sentences with a weird ghost-like desert scene. This is unfortunate since it was the piety of the Moslems that he encountered on this trip that was the context for his conversion upon his return to France. A quality documentary would have been much more effective than this halting drama. Be sure to watch it but keep your expectations low! by Fr. Ron Belisle updated 2/22/02
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