The following are movies and TV shows that TCC parishioners have identified as beautiful:
I have always been fascinated by, and in awe of, the size of the universe. When I was a child, I used to lay on the sand at Jones Beach on Long Island and just gaze at the stars, thinking about the creation and my place in it. The more we humans discover about the universe, the bigger and more mysterious God becomes for me. I have used this film on my annual retreats many times, along with appropriate music that praises God for the beauty of creation.
The film is called “The Awakening Universe” by Neal Rogin. It has been called a liberating new cosmology for our time. The film is based on the book “The Universe Story” by Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme. The film is both beautiful and inspiring because it takes you on the ultimate journey, from the very birth of the universe, through the arising of galaxies, the formation of the Earth, the emergence of life, and finally to the development of human consciousness. The film shows how science, spirit, and ancient indigenous wisdom are now all converging to reveal that we stand in the very heart of that which created us.
Before the pandemic we are living through, I had planned to offer a three-part class at the church called “In the Beginning,” sharing how science and faith fit together in a beautiful seamless rhythm. Perhaps this will happen yet, but in the meantime, I hope will enjoy this powerful short film and save up your questions. — Caroly Gibson
This award-winning documentary, filmed in Macedonia and released in 2019, follows the life of a middle-aged wild beekeeper, Hatidze, in the remote village of Berkirlija. While attending her bees, she also cares for her aged mother. The movie is beautifully filmed, making it seem as if you are just observing the “days in the life” of this woman and her bees.
There is some conflict in the film, when a Nomadic ranch farmer and his seven children move onto an adjoining property, and in so doing, disrupt not only Haditze’s simple life, but also her bee colony. While she engages and enjoys the children, their father decides to try his hand the art of beekeeping in order to supplement his income in the winter months. This creates a threat to Haditze’s age-old, proven method of gathering honey, when the neighbor’s bees begin to attack her bee colony.
The documentary was shot over three years, and gives a lot of food for thought about environmental challenges, the balance between our ecosystem and humanity, and threats to the world’s natural resources, such as the honey we learn about in this interesting film. FYI , this is a foreign language film, with English subtitles. — Wendy Corris
This 1978 film, starring a very young Richard Gere, was described in 1997 by critic Roger Ebert as “one of the most beautiful films ever made” and four decades after first seeing it myself, I would have to agree. Its story of migrant workers in the Texas Panhandle in 1916 features amazing visual images of waving wheat fields and a solitary home that is straight out of an Edward Hopper painting, not to mention a gorgeous musical score by the master composer Ennio Morricone. The ill-fated romance that ensues is also something of a morality tale, complete with an almost biblical plague. The film very deservedly won the Oscar for Best Cinematography. — Chip Warren
This movie, which tells the story of an 18th-century Jesuit missionary who tries to prevent a remote South American tribe from falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal, was named in 2007 by the British publication Church Times as number one on its list of Top 50 Religious Films. Beyond that endorsement, however, I can also attest that the film — released in 1986 and starring Jeremy Irons and Robert DeNiro — is a beautiful piece of art, with spectacular scenes set at Brazil’s Iguazu Falls and elsewhere in the jungle. Furthermore, its musical score — again by Ennio Morricone — is among his very best, with a moving main theme that has come to be known popularly as “Gabriel’s Oboe.” — Chip Warren