The Stem Cell Divide
Barbara Shuman, Jill Mogil & Sharon Pollack, U.S., 2008, 90 min.
Sunday, Nov. 16, 2 p.m., Tivoli 1
“The Stem Cell Divide” examines the controversy – in Missouri and the nation – over embryonic stem cell research, an issue that has galvanized the religious, political and scientific sectors. The film covers a two-year period, beginning with legislation proposed in the Missouri Senate and continuing through the 2006 ballot referendum on the Missouri Stem Cell and Cures Initiative, and shows Missourians’ efforts to resolve this conflict, a debate that transcends geography, race, gender, age and socioeconomic status. The fundamental questions of when life begins and whether the hope for cures should override religious beliefs are eternal quandaries. Those questions elicit thoughtful, emotional responses from a range of individuals representing both sides of the debate.
You can find it here. I’m still hoping this really will be as fair and balanced as they’ve made it out to be. I had a very good relationship with the filmmakers and could not detect any bias one way or the other when I was with them – which surprised me. I talked to a woman from Missourians Against Human Cloning who was also a part of it and she’s skeptical.
I also found out on the website that there will be a documentary showing there about Conception Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in northwest Missouri. I have spent a lot of time up there over the last few years. A good priest friend of ours started teaching at the seminary college there a number of years ago and – he is now the dean of students. It’s a beautiful place and I love praying the Hours with the monks. Info on the doc:
St. Benedict’s Rule
Jay Kanzler, U.S., 2008, 84 min.
Saturday, Nov. 15, 5 p.m., Webster
Founded in 1881, Conception Abbey in northwest Missouri is an apparent refuge from modern life, serving as home to Benedictine monks, providing religious instruction at its seminary college, and hosting retreats at its guest center. But not even this timeless sanctuary is immune to contemporary ills: On June 2002, a gunman walked into Conception Abbey, killing two monks and seriously wounding two others. “St. Benedict’s Rule” offers insight into the monsastic existence, exploring the abbey’s many facets and speaking with the priests and brothers about their life of prayer and contemplation. It also explores how the monks coped with the shocking outreak of violence that took place within the abbey’s walls.
I will have to check that one out too. Advance tickets are on sale now. Tickets for the Stem Cell Divide can be purchased online at Landmark Theaters. Benedict’s Rule tickets must be purchased at the Trivoli box office in STL. For more information visit the festival website.