WASHINGTON - Paul Loong was determined to survive the POW camps where he was held by the Japanese for three years. While imprisoned, Loong kept a journal that had a chance of surviving him if he never made it out alive.

But Loong did. And he made his way to the United States, got married and had a daughter, Theresa, who accidentally stumbled upon her father's journal. She eventually picked up a video camera and started asking him questions about what he had written when he was in captivity.

The result is an hourlong documentary, "Every Day Is a Holiday," which airs in May and June on public television stations. (Check local listings for dates and times.)

Published in Features

Fr. Michael Prieur has lived at St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ont., for more than 50 years. For 40 of those years, he never paid attention to the stained glass windows in the chapel.

“And then one day I wondered why St. Jerome was dressed up like a cardinal when there was no such outfit in the days that he lived,” Prieur told The Catholic Register.

Published in Arts News

I’m sorry. In writing about a controversial documentary earlier this month (Dramatic Jesus Discovery documentary lacks hard evidence), I never should have brought up the Resurrection in such an offhand way. I should never have imagined the Resurrection could be explained in a single paragraph of a newspaper article.

Simcha Jacobovici’s documentary The Jesus Discovery provocatively asked “what if” a tomb now under an apartment complex in Jerusalem actually contains the bones of Jesus and His family. In my review, I took the bait and posed the question to myself.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

The problem with The Jesus Discovery is that it’s not really about the archeology. It’s about making a documentary movie.

Simcha Jacobovici’s documentary, to be aired in Canada on VisionTV, presents us with a dramatic plot full of twists and turns. Jacobovici turns in a fine performance as the stalwart and stoic hero who patiently overcomes each obstacle on his quest to make a movie. Tight editing and subtle use of music add to the tension.

The story of how the movie got made reveals a great deal about contemporary Israeli society and contemporary American media culture. We’re treated to CNN talking heads sputtering outrage over any information that might challenge their settled world view. We watch as ultra-orthodox Jews in Jerusalem impose their will on the film crew by leveraging mob rule.

Published in Arts News

TORONTO - Every reporter wants what Martin Himel has — a story that could shift how people think and talk about global politics, a story rich with human drama, suffering, heartbreak and redemption.

Himel found that story among Christian refugees in Toronto and among the huddled and fearful Christians of Cairo and Baghdad where he filmed Persecuted Christians. The hour-long documentary will get its world premiere on VisionTV March 14.

Published in Features

TORONTO - Fr. Tom Rosica knows he’s going to get letters. You don’t wade into the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis expecting bouquets of roses.

Controversy has never been a hallmark of Salt + Light TV. Since its launch in the wake of World Youth Day 2002, Rosica has consciously shaped the digital broadcaster as a voice of hope — clear, Catholic evangelism without the rancor, resentments or fear that so often mar religious television.

Despite efforts at balanced, just-the-facts reporting, Salt + Light’s next big documentary will elicit partisan passion for and against Israel, for and against the Palestinian leadership, when it airs later this year.

Published in Arts News
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