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One Direction: This Is Us

John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles and Niall Horan star in a scene from the movie "One Direction: This Is Us."
While grumpy grammarians may grumble over its title, the parents of targeted teenyboppers will find little to object to in the mostly harmless concert film "One Direction: This Is Us" (TriStar).

Director Morgan Spurlock showcases the boy band of the title—made up of Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson—capturing a number of their upbeat stage performances during a recent world tour. He also chronicles the group's creation by talent judge and pop impresario Simon Cowell.

Besides the good-natured horseplay going on backstage, viewers are also shown more serious aspects of the lads' lives, including their work for charity and strong emotional bonds with their families. We see them interacting with some of the African children who have benefitted from their philanthropy, and witness one performer's mother and sisters getting their first glimpse of the new, far more comfortable home he has purchased for them.

Irish-born Horan returns to his native Mullingar to participate in a (presumably Catholic) wedding ceremony. Some of the interview footage with him is filmed in the church where this event took place, suggesting it's a structure to which he feels at least some connection.

Still, a touch of salty language makes this otherwise benign picture unsuitable fare for the youngest moviegoers.

As for the inordinate number of shots showing the youthful stars either shirtless or in their underwear, they hint that all that screaming from overwrought fans isn't just about the music.

The film contains one use of profanity, brief scatological humor and a half-dozen mildly crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II—adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested.

John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

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Charles de Foucauld: Born into an aristocratic family in Strasbourg, France, Charles was orphaned at the age of six, raised by his devout grandfather, rejected the Catholic faith as a teenager and joined the French army. Inheriting a great deal of money from his grandfather, Charles went to Algeria with his regiment, but not without his mistress, Mimi. <br /><br />When he declined to give her up, he was dismissed from the army. Still in Algeria when he left Mimi, Charles reenlisted in the army. Refused permission to make a scientific exploration of nearby Morocco, he resigned from the service. With the help of a Jewish rabbi, Charles disguised himself as a Jew and in 1883 began a one-year exploration that he recorded in a book that was well received. <br /><br />Inspired by the Jews and Muslims whom he met, Charles resumed the practice of his Catholic faith when he returned to France in 1886. He joined a Trappist monastery in Ardeche, France, and later transferred to one in Akbes, Syria. Leaving the monastery in 1897, Charles worked as gardener and sacristan for the Poor Clare nuns in Nazareth and later in Jerusalem. In 1901 he returned to France and was ordained a priest. <br /><br />Later that year Charles journeyed to Beni-Abbes, Morocco, intending to found a monastic religious community in North Africa that offered hospitality to Christians, Muslims, Jews, or people with no religion. He lived a peaceful, hidden life but attracted no companions. <br /><br />A former army comrade invited him to live among the Tuareg people in Algeria. Charles learned their language enough to write a Tuareg-French and French-Tuareg dictionary, and to translate the Gospels into Tuareg. In 1905 he came to Tamanrasset, where he lived the rest of his life. A two-volume collection of Charles' Tuareg poetry was published after his death. <br /><br />In early 1909 he visited France and established an association of laypeople who pledged to live by the Gospels. His return to Tamanrasset was welcomed by the Tuareg. In 1915 Charles wrote to Louis Massignon: “The love of God, the love for one’s neighbor…All religion is found there…How to get to that point? Not in a day since it is perfection itself: it is the goal we must always aim for, which we must unceasingly try to reach and that we will only attain in heaven.”   <br /><br />The outbreak of World War I led to attacks on the French in Algeria. Seized in a raid by another tribe, Charles and two French soldiers coming to visit him were shot to death on December 1, 1916. <br />Five religious congregations, associations, and spiritual institutes (Little Brothers of Jesus, Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Little Sisters of Jesus, Little Brothers of the Gospel and Little Sisters of the Gospel) draw inspiration from the peaceful, largely hidden, yet hospitable life that characterized Charles. He was beatified on November 13, 2005. American Catholic Blog You know, O my God, I have never desired anything but to love you, and I am ambitious for no other glory.

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