The Young Avraham — a midrashic tale


Movies about biblical characters have been based on the Old and New Testaments, the Apocrypha and even the Koran, but have any been based on the Midrash before? No doubt some biblical films have borrowed midrashic elements, but has an entire movie ever been based on this particular form of Jewish literature?

I can’t think of any previous examples at the moment, but today, I discovered that a Montreal-based animation outfit called Big Bang Digital Studios is working on a 45-minute CGI flick called The Young Avraham that is, indeed, based on midrashic literature:

The Young Avraham was born out of the desire of a number of Jewish businessmen to bring the story of Avraham to life in a quality animated 3D production. For their first production they chose to portray the childhood of Avraham based upon writings of Jewish antiquity and oral tradition, mostly found in the Midrash. The entire story covers many of the events of Avraham’s life from his birth up to where the Torah picks up his story (Genesis 11).

One page at the movie’s official website says it should be “available for purchase Winter 2007”, but they were still posting brand-new production stills as of last week, and I don’t see any information on where or how to buy a copy. At any rate, it might be worth keeping an eye on this one. In the meantime, here is one of the video clips that have been posted to the website:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMbWJTAGfeM]
Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.

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About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).


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