Pope to Preview Miniseries on St. Augustine

New Version of "Ben Hur" in the Works

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, SEPT. 1, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will preview a condensed version of a television mini-series on the life of St. Augustine directed by Canadian Christian Duguay, who is also working on a remake of "Ben Hur."

The series, titled "Augustine: The Decline of the Roman Empire," will be shown Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Swiss Hall of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, L'Osservatore Romano reported today.
 
The program was produced by Lux Vide, Rai Trade and Rai Fiction (Italy), Bayerischer Rundfunk/Tellux Film and Eos Entertainment (Germany), and Grupa Filmova Baltmedia (Poland).
 
Duguay, is known for films such as "Joan of Arc" (1999, with Leelee Sobieski), "The Art of War" (2000), "Screamers" (1995) and "Hitler, the Rise of Evil" (2003).
 
Franco Nero ("Die Hard 2," "Camelot"), will impersonate the saint in old age, whereas Shakespearean actor Alessandro Preziosi, will have the role of Augustine during his stormy youth.
 
The series begins in the year 430 with the aging Augustine recalling his life shortly before death, under siege in Hippo by Vandal armies.

The life of the saint is narrated, including his excesses and transgressions, and his existential crisis that led to his conversion, all within the framework of the collapse of the Roman Empire.
 
Monica Guerritore will play St. Monica and the role highlights the saint's efforts to guide her son toward a life of holiness.
 
The television program is the fifth production of the Imperium project of the Lux Vide, which chronicles the rise and fall of the Roman Empire through the eyes of historical figures.

Lux Vide is also known for the Bible project that consisted of producing 13 miniseries on the books and major figures of sacred Scripture.

The newspaper reported that along with this project, the company is joining other producers to make a new version of "Ben Hur," which will also be directed by Christian Duguay.

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To see the trailer: http://www.luxvide.it/en/augustine-49.html