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"THE LETTERS"
(2015) (Juliet Stevenson, Max von Sydow) (PG)


Alcohol/Drugs None
Blood/Gross Stuff Moderate
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Moderate
Frightening/Tense Scenes Moderate
Gun/Weapons None
Imitative Behavior Mild
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense) Minor
Music (Inappropriate) None
Profanity None
Sex/Nudity Minor
Smoking None
Tense Family Scenes Moderate
Topics to Talk About Heavy
Violence Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A nun wants to leave her convent and position of teaching privileged girls in order to care for the poor, sick and dying people in the slums of Calcutta.
PLOT:
It's 2003, and Father Benjamin Praagh (RUTGER HAUER) has arrived at a Catholic retirement facility to talk to Father Celeste van Exem (MAX VON SYDOW) about the possible canonization of the late Mother Teresa. Beyond her decades of tirelessly working for the poor, sick and dying, her image has been attributed to one miracle, and one more is needed to get the process moving forward, something with which Father Praagh has been tasked to investigate. And thus he meets with Father van Exem to discuss a number of letters Mother Teresa wrote over the years to her spiritual advisors, private commentary about her spiritual agony and feelings that God had abandoned her despite her serving Him.

The film then rewinds to 1946 when Sister Teresa (JULIET STEVENSON) works in the Loreto Convent in Calcutta, with India on the verge of becoming a sovereign country after 200 years of British rule. Working under Mother General (MAHABANOO KOTWAL), she teaches privileged local girls, such as Dinsha Sahu (PRAVISHI DAS), while simultaneously being dismayed by the conditions of the poor, sick and dying just outside the convent walls. After hearing the word of God telling her to serve them, she asks for a suspension of her duties at the convent so that she can do just that. Despite Mother General's protests, she's granted that request, and starts caring for those in need.

At first, many locals are against her for fear that she's trying to convert them and their children to Christianity. But her selfless work soon draws supporters, some of her former students, such as Shubashini Das (PRIYA DARSHINI), as her aids, and even British radio reporter Graham Widdecombe (MARK BENNINGTON) who wants to interview her about her work. But she's not in it for the fame and instead does what she can to help those in need in the slums of Calcutta.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're interested in the real life of Mother Teresa, they might. Otherwise, it's not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic material including some images of human suffering.


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